The Spurs boss was eager to avoid talking about the Wales star and even referenced a TV show character in the process
The Real Madrid attacker is close to rejoining Spurs but Mourinho has refused to give anything away about a possible deal.
Speaking before his side’s 2-1 win over Lokomotiv Plovdiv in a Europa League qualifier, the Tottenham coach faced numerous questions about Bale but was coy in his responses.
“Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player, I don’t comment on players from other clubs. That’s not my job to have contacts with agents,” Mourinho said.
“I’m not going to comment on Gareth Bale, a Real Madrid player and I have to respect that.
“I tried to sign him for Real Madrid which was not possible during my time there but the president followed my instinct and knowledge to bring him to the club the season after I left.”
Despite the press being told to stop asking questions about transfers, one journalist tried his luck by referring to Mourinho’s strong track record of signing players in the twilight of their careers and getting the best out of them.
Once again, however, Mourinho wasn’t taking the bait and pointed to advice he gave Ted Lasso last month.
“It’s a clever question but I don’t have a clever answer,” he said. “So like I teach Ted Lasso – it’s better not to speak.”
In his chat with Lasso in August, Mourinho looked to give the American coach a rundown on how to approach being a manager.
“But in football, there are no shortcuts. First, you must identify players you can rely on,” he explained. “Next, defence: the opposition cannot score, you cannot lose.
“Finally, you must learn how to handle the English press. I’m going to tell you exactly what to say: ‘I prefer not to speak.'”