Welshman was not “mature enough” to move to Catalonia though.
Spanish champions FC Barcelona could have signed Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur for just £50 million a year before the wide man’s eventual world-record transfer to Real Madrid this summer, according to reports in the Mail on Sunday.
The in-demand Wales international finally agreed to join los Blancos in September for a whopping fee of 100m euros (£86m) after months of protracted negotiations between the north London club and the Liga giants, with the 24-year-old signing a bumper six-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu worth a staggering £200,000 per week.
However, according to a report released in Spanish sports daily Marca, it was Madrid’s arch rivals from Catalonia who in actual fact had the first chance to land Bale just over a year ago, only for the winger’s agent Jonathan Barnett to put a stop to the deal taking place.
The Catalans had supposedly been keeping close tabs on Bale for some time, with a view to bringing the playmaker to Camp Nou last season, but after months of talks between Spurs and Barca, when the deal came to be agreed the player’s representative claimed that his client was not ready to move to La Liga as he was “not mature enough to leave his family environment and Britain and start life in another league”.