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Man Utd came 'close' to signing Real Madrid star Bale - Moyes

19:53 EAT 06/03/2019
Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2018-19
The former Red Devils boss says that he tried to sway the Wales international to choose Old Trafford over La Liga during his spell in charge

Gareth Bale was almost the first signing David Moyes made when he became manager of Manchester United in 2013, the Scotsman has revealed.

The former Everton boss succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford in 2013 after being reportedly hand-picked by his fellow countrymen.

Despite a stellar record at Goodison Park however, Moyes failed to acclimatise to life at the Theatre of Dreams and despite winning the Charity Shield, was sacked after just 10 months in the hotseat.

Speaking to eirSport, the 55-year-old recalled that upon arriving in Manchester, he had hoped to bring then-Tottenham forward Bale to the club.

However, he was unable to coax the Wales international from signing what was at the time a world record switch to Real Madrid where he still remains.

“I wanted him to be my first signing at Manchester United,” Moyes stated.

“We came close, spoke to him, but he had his heart set on Real Madrid and we couldn't talk him out of it.

“It was a real disappointment because I saw him as a Manchester United type player.

“He carries himself well, I think he's a terrific player. He can play wide, we can play as a striker now that he's developed that.

“I just think all round he's a terrific athlete and a brilliant footballer so I think that he would have fitted what we wanted but I couldn't talk him out of it.”

Both have gone on to mixed careers since, with Moyes having most recently managed at West Ham following spells with Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

Bale, meanwhile, has lifted the Liga title with Madrid as well as four Champions League trophies, though he was unable to prevent Los Blancos seeing their 1,011-day reign as holders crash to an end on Tuesday with a humiliating defeat against Ajax.

He has scored 101 goals in 218 appearances for the club.

Moyes’ comments come as speculation mounts that Bale will be shown the door at the end of the season at Santiago Bernabeu, with a Premier League return looking to be the most likely option for the 29-year-old.