A Tottenham Hotspur fan has launched an ambitious online petition calling for his beloved North London club to re-sign Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale as the Wales international endures a lean period of form at the Bernabeu.
Bale won four trophies in his first year at Real, scoring in the Copa del Rey final victory over Barcelona, Champions League final win over Atletico Madrid and as Los Blancos prevailed in the Club World Cup final against San Lorenzo while he also claimed the Uefa Super Cup.
But the 25-year-old has come in for significant criticism of late for a series of uncertain performances during his second season in the Spanish capital, having failed to score or assist a goal in any of his last eight appearances during which time the club have lost their lead at the top of La Liga table.
The pressure on Bale swelled following an insipid display during the 4-3 Champions League defeat to German club Schalke 04 and while the reigning European champions held on to qualify for the quarter-finals, it again exposed his problems during his second campaign.
Though Bale left Tottenham in the summer of 2013 for a world record £85m ($126m), his departure was on good terms having helped the club into the Champions League during his spell there and little doubt remains that he would be welcomed back with open arms by the Spurs support.
The online petition was set up in the late hours of 12 March and has failed to garner much support in the Tottenham community despite Bale's popularity at White Hart Lane.
Florentino Perez has moved to silence doubters of Real's record signing after the loss to Schalke, blaming a media campaign for Bale's drop in form from last term.
"I signed, we signed, Gareth Bale after a big drama," he said. "It was first said he had hernia injury, then that he was not a proper footballer, then that the system had to be changed.
"That has been what has damaged him, trying to change the coach's wishes. Gareth Bale is one of best players in the world. The most important teams fight and continue to fight for his services.
"We should not forget that in his first year at Real Madrid, what he was capable to do in the two finals we played – [score in] the Champions League and Copa del Rey."