Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has revealed that the Old Trafford side made a bid to sign the Welsh attacker from Tottenham over the summer.
Gareth Bale’s summer move to Real Madrid has dominated headlines across Britain and Spain for the last couple of months, but it could have been all so different.
Madrid president Florentino Perez has revealed that the Spanish capital city side beat Manchester United to the player’s signature over the summer.
“Tottenham did not want to sell him. It came to our attention that Manchester United had made an offer and we then made ours,” Perez told Spanish radio.
"Since he was young he has had the desire to play for Real Madrid and he asked we do everything possible for him to come.”
The Premier League champions have declined to comment on the issue, but United were thought to be real admirers of the Wales international.
It goes without saying that Bale would have been a good signing for United – the new world record transfer fee holder has the ability to play in any team in the world. He will be an important man for a Madrid side full of stars and is undoubtedly one of the most devastating attacking players in Europe when he is on form.
However, United’s current shortfalls suggest that Bale would not only have been a good addition, but he would have been the perfect player to reignite a team that looks tired and lacking invention in wide areas.
Even in lifting the Premier League title last season United’s wingers failed to live up to the high standards asked of them, and this term has been no better. Ashley Young obviously has talent but he is low on confidence and seemingly a figure of frustration for the Old Trafford fans. With diving claims to boot, the England international has a lot of work to do to prove that he has a future at the club.
Antonio Valencia put in an underwhelming performance in United’s derby defeat to rivals Manchester City on Sunday, and is seemingly not the same player that joined the club from Wigan. His devastating ability to beat opponents and consistency are no longer apparent.
Nani has recently signed a new contract with the club but has been given limited opportunities of late. Technically the strongest of the three, the Portugal international has the ability to be a match winner. However, his frustrating lack of end product means he is not fully trusted to play a key role in the starting XI.
Bale has the ability to play either on the left or the right. His goal threat, ability to cross the ball accurately into the box, directness, speed and energy are exactly what is lacking on the flanks for United, and one of the main issues that new boss David Moyes has to address.
image: © Jan S0L0