The former Wales international is pleased to see his fellow countryman heading back to the Premier League, saying his quality is beyond questioning

Gareth Bale heading back to the Premier League at Tottenham is a good move for all concerned, says John Hartson, as the Wales international could have “sat on his backside in Madrid playing golf every day”.

The 31-year-old forward is closing in on a deal that will see him head back to familiar surroundings on an initial loan deal. A return to English football has been mooted for some time, with Manchester United and Chelsea having been heavily linked with a proven performer in the past.

Spurs have, however, moved to the front of the transfer queue due to their strong emotional and professional ties with Bale.

Jose Mourinho is set to add Bale to his ranks, with a man who has landed four Champions League crowns during his time in Spain prepared to ignore the advice that says former heroes should never retrace their steps.

Hartson believes Bale has made the right call. The former Wales international striker told BBC Sport: “I think he’s got more to offer but whether or not Gareth will ever hit the heights he hit before he went to Real Madrid, where he was scoring and scoring incredible goals I don’t know.

“It’s a shame it’s ended very sour under Zidane but I believe Gareth feels he can hit those types of performances again, otherwise he would just sit on his backside, stay in Madrid and play golf every day.”

Hartson added on a switch to Spurs: “The one good thing for everybody concerned is he’ll be playing regular football. It obviously pulls on the heartstrings, he was such a great player at Spurs and that of course is where he got the record move to Real Madrid.

“I’m sure Gareth is delighted he’s got the opportunity to play regularly every week in the Premier League, he’s a world-class player and he’s going to add so much back.

“He’ll keep himself fresh and sharp, and that’s very important for his international form. I’m sure there’s loads and loads of fans delighted around the country to see Gareth Bale back in the Premier League playing on a regular basis.”

Bale left Spurs as the most expensive player on the planet back in 2013, with seven years in Spain delivering 105 goals and 13 pieces of silverware.