Jose Mourinho is reportedly fuming with Gareth Bale after an ill-timed social media post made while Tottenham were travelling up to Merseyside for their FA Cup fifth-round clash with Everton.
The Welshman was left out of the squad for the dramatic 5-4 defeat after extra time in the latest blow to his miserable return to north London.
Mourinho claimed there was no ‘obvious injury’ with Bale ‘not happy’ in training, but that was at odds with the 31-year-old’s version of events, as he posted ‘Good session today’ on his Instagram.
And the manager is not happy with Bale’s post, which has made him out to be the reason behind the player’s absence, according to The Express, via The Mirror.
He was not afforded the chance to show his talents on Wednesday night as Mourinho elected to leave him out, instead extending the olive branch to Dele Alli, who has also routinely found himself out of favour.
‘Gareth is not on the bench because he wasn’t happy with his training session yesterday,’ Mourinho said when asked for clarification on Bale’s omission.
‘I wouldn’t say an injury, not at all, but some feelings he wasn’t happy with, so it was better for him to stay back and to be working with the sports science guys.’
Mourinho was previously particularly tetchy when asked by a pitchside reporter about his decision to leave Bale on the bench after the defeat to Chelsea.
Journalist Alison Bender asked Mourinho: ‘Can I just ask one tiny question – obviously you were just one-nil down… Gareth Bale, a lot of people were saying bring him on… can I ask why you didn’t bring him on?’
Mourinho tersely replied: ‘Good question but I don’t think you deserve an answer.’
Bale returned to great fanfare on loan from Real Madrid in the summer but he has struggled and Sportsmail revealed last week that Tottenham have questioned Bale’s appetite to turn things around.
Upon agreeing his return to north London in the summer, Spurs agreed to pay in the region of £250,000 per week of his mammoth £600,000-per-week salary.
And there is acknowledgement that Bale’s high-profile return has not provided value for money.
Mourinho and his staff are said to still be hopeful Bale’s form can improve for him to play a key role in the club’s run in – but the trust did not seem to extend to even a place on the bench at Goodison Park on Wednesday.
Despite being knocked out of the FA Cup this week, Spurs remain competitive on three fronts and have a Carabao Cup final with Manchester City to look forward to in April.
But while Mourinho needs all of his squad, Sportsmail has been told patience looks to be wearing thin.