Andros Townsend has slammed Real Madrid for their treatment of Gareth Bale – and has urged his former Tottenham teammate to return to the Premier League this summer.
Bale faces an uncertain future in Madrid and recently hit out at his Spanish club for “blocking everything at the last second” as he tried to get out to move to China last summer.
Those comments have led to uncertainty over his future, and Tottenham and Manchester United have been linked with a move for the winger who left Spurs seven years ago to join Los Blancos.
However the Wales superstar earns a mammoth £600,000-a-week in the Spanish capital and has two years left on the lucrative deal, salary demands few clubs would be able to meet.
But Townsend, who played alongside Bale at Spurs, says Bale should come back to England and also defended the way he has handled the situation.
He told the new ITV Football Football Show podcast: “I think Gareth Bale is a special case.
“Normally I wouldn’t agree with the antics of Gareth Bale – what he was doing in the stands, or playing golf, or potentially trying to annoy his employers.
“But what Gareth Bale has done for that football club – the goals in the Champions League final against Atletico Madrid, the two goals against Liverpool, effectively winning them that Champions League – he deserves a statue! But instead he’s abused by the fans, by the media, by the club.
“And after that, I think he agreed a move to China, and at the eleventh hour he got a call, no, you’re not going, we want you back here.
“And then after all that, he’s still not playing, he’s still getting abuse… So I fully don’t blame him for the way he’s acting now.
“I would like to see Gareth Bale back in the Premier League. I think he’s only 30, 31 so he’s still got many years to offer, and he is a world class talent so it’d be great to see him getting back to what he does best.”