Redknapp said: “When I then took over at Tottenham the following year, I heard some rubbish saying that we were going to loan him out or sell him. It was absolute nonsense. At no stage did we ever consider selling Gareth Bale. It never entered our minds. We always knew this kid was special. He was either going to be the best left back in the world or the best winger in the world.”
This is a surprising admission for Redknapp to make, as although Bale has become one of the best players in the world, it was common knowledge that Spurs had placed him on the transfer market.
A 2009 report from the Daily Mail claims that Birmingham City were ready to splash out £3 million on the left-sided player, having struggled to fit in at White Hart Lane.
It was expected that he would be leaving the club in the January transfer window of that season, having made just one Premier League start by October of that year. It was only following Redknapp’s appointment as manager, and Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s loss in form that saw Bale move into the first-team set-up.
He ended that campaign with 34 appearances to his name, and a role in the side as a key first-team starter.
It was the following season when he truly established himself at Spurs, and whilst it is ridiculous nowadays to think that Tottenham were seriously considering selling him, Redknapp’s denial of the claims goes against all reports from that time.
The North London club had no need to keep ahold of an underperforming player, and it appears as if luck player a key role in keeping Bale at White Hart Lane, as he went on to become one of the best players in the world.