Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says there has not been "one second of discussion" over the decision on whether to extend Gareth Bale's stay.
Bale re-joined Spurs to much fanfare on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid in September.
But his return has not yet met expectations, with Bale only making one Premier League start and yet to play a full 90 minutes in any competition amid issues with injuries, fitness and form.
Spurs are said to have an option to sign Bale for a second year on loan, but reports have suggested the Wales forward, who has scored only three times since his return to north London, is instead poised to head back to Madrid at the end of the season.
Asked if the decision not to extend his loan was made, Mourinho said: "There was not even a second of discussion about that.
"Gareth is a player on loan until the end of the season.
"Not one second of discussion. We are speaking about, of course, Gareth, himself, Real Madrid, Tottenham, but I promise you, not one second of discussion.
"Of course, you know that he arrived injured. And he was injured before, I believe, the first month. And then, step by step, Europa League matches were helping him to get his condition.
"Europa League group phase is a different level than the Premier League. The knockout round is a different story. But the group phase is a different intensity, a different rhythm, a different quality.
"So, in the Premier League, he didn't play many minutes. Then another small injury at Stoke City [in the EFL Cup] where he was having a good first half. It is not an easy process.
"Everybody knew that in the past couple of seasons, in Madrid, they were not easy for him. So, let's go, step by step, and try to get the best out of him."
Spurs were held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham on Wednesday, though they are on a six-game unbeaten run across all competitions.
They face Sheffield United, who have only just recorded their first win of the Premier League season, at Bramall Lane on Sunday.
Mourinho added: "Gio [Lo Celso] of course is not [available] and we still have two training sessions before the game. But I believe no more problems in principle.
"They [Sheffield United] are not the worst team in the Premier League at all. They're a much, much, much better team than what the table says.
"You analyse their matches and many times the opponent was not better than them. I don't look to the table. Of course, I look but I go deeper than that.
"Many times, it was one of the small big details that decides the points, decides the score, decides the table.
"Many times, they lose 1-0, they draw 1-1, they are a very good team. If in our mind we are going to play the worst team in the Premier League, we are going to be in big trouble."