Jamie Carragher has revealed in The Daily Mail that Rafael Benitez turned down the chance to sign Gareth Bale from Southampton when he was in charge of Liverpool.
Bale developed at Southampton’s youth academy and played for the first team during the 2006-07 season before joining Tottenham Hotspur.
The Wales international, who started his career at left-back, established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League and moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2013.
Carragher has revealed that Liverpool could have recruited Bale, who is now one of the best wingers on the planet, when he was just starting out at Southampton.
“He has come so far since making his way at Southampton,” the former Liverpool defender wrote in The Daily Mail. “When he broke into their team, Rafa Benitez looked at signing him for Liverpool.
“Bale was playing as a left back then and Rafa didn't think he was any better than John Arne Riise, so he never pursued it.”
Interestingly, Benitez is currently managing Bale, with the duo working together at Spanish giants Madrid.
One can understand why the Spanish coach did not want to sign Bale all those years ago. John Arne Riise was a superb left-back, and there was no need for the Reds to recruit the Welshman.