Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy

Gareth Bale has got to start justifying his “humongous” wages if he is to stay at Tottenham past the end of the season, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has insisted it “makes no sense” for Spurs to try and keep the 31-year-old on board if he is going to be used as a squad player by Jose Mourinho.

Spanish publication AS claim Real Madrid are concerned that Tottenham, who are said to be paying half of his £500,000-a-week wages, may choose not to pursue a permanent deal for the Wales international after his stop-start season on loan.

Bale has managed to start just once in four Premier League appearances so far for Spurs, while he has a total of three goals in 11 games, eight of which have come among the starting XI.

He has a total of 214 games under his belt across two separate spells in north London.

Whelan has insisted the Welsh winger has not done enough to warrant what the Lilywhites are paying him and that a deal past the end of the current campaign seems unlikely.

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Asked if he thought Bale would stay at Spurs past the end of the season, Whelan told Football Insider: “It’s a tricky one because it doesn’t seem like he’s that important to them.

“If he was he’d be playing week in, week out, and he’d be first on the team sheet along with Harry Kane and (Heung-min) Son. At the minute that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“It’s one of these where right now it’s kind of touch and go, isn’t it? The wages must be humongous and you can’t be paying that for a player who’s not going to be a permanent fixture in your first XI.

“It’s one of these where right now it’s kind of touch and go, isn’t it? The wages must be humongous and you can’t be paying that for a player who’s not going to be a permanent fixture in your first XI.

“I think until he breaks way through into the first team and he gets a long run of games to prove himself, I think it’d be very hard to justify keeping him on with the wages if he’s going to be a bit-part player – it doesn’t make sense to me.” 

In other news, a Tottenham big name has been tipped to join a new club with a deal all but done.