Bale for Huntelaar - When Tottenham Hotspur almost swapped ‘misfits’ with AC Milan

Huntelaar

Imagine an alternative universe where Tottenham let AC Milan have Gareth Bale for Klaas Jan Huntelaar... go on do it ... I dare you.

In 2009 Gareth Bale was not quite the star he is right now.

The then left-back was struggling to make an impact at White Hart Lane, after his move to London from Southampton in 2007. His battles with poor form and injury issues saw him labelled a ‘misfit’, even a flop in some circles of the media.

In fact perusing some of the comments from that time you even read such statements as ‘thank god he didn’t sign for United’ and ‘Arsenal dodged a bullet’.

Imagine if those people were presented with those comments now?

During this period of time plenty of teams registered an interest in the player - ranging from Nottingham Forest to AC Milan … which is where this interesting trip down memory lane begins.

AC Milan were keen on signing Bale back in 2009, along with Roman Pavyluchenko - and were reportedly willing to offer their very own misfit signing to Spurs in the process. 

Dutch superstar striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar had struggled to make an impact in his first six months in Italy - after a similarly difficult stint with Real Madrid.

At this point it seemed that he was destined to sign for Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Redknapp was a massive fan of the Dutch international, ominously nicknamed ‘The Hunter’ by fans of Ajax because of his lethal finishing ability.

And the most interesting aspect of this reported proposal was that AC Milan considered Gareth Bale’s worth so low that only a joint bid, involving Russian star Pavyluchenko, brought Bale up the valuation on Huntelaar.

Nowadays, of course, Bale is flirting with the possibility of becoming the first ever £100 million player.

Huntelaar has gone on to fund his own peace. He is settled at Bundesliga outfit Schalke 04 and a regular member in the Dutch national set-up - but to consider that just four years ago he was being talked of in a swap deal for Bale - the world’s most sought after footballer - is quite incredible.

Do you remember this deal? What if it had actually happened?

image: © tpower1978

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