David Moyes has revealed that he was ‘desperate’ to recruit Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale in 2013, only to miss out as the player moved to Real Madrid.
“Firstly, Gareth Bale is an outstanding player,” Moyes began, speaking to Sky Sports.
“I was desperate to take him to Manchester United from Tottenham, but couldn’t quite get him. He had his heart set on going to Real Madrid.
“He was very much on my radar as soon as I went to United.
“He can score goals, can make goals, he’s got speed, he’s physically capable, and I think next year he will be a big star in Madrid.”
Ultimately, the Spurs star moved to the Bernabeu on September 1 for a world-record transfer fee of £87 million—a figure that has still never been surpassed, via the Daily Mail.
The winger signed a six-year contract with the Spanish giants, pocketing a reported £300,000-per-week. United, by contrast, signed Guillermo Varela and Marouane Fellaini.
Moyes had been sacked by mid-April, while United slumped to a dismal seventh-placed finish in the Premier League.
Bale enjoyed success in Madrid, and ended the season by helping the club win La Decima—the long-awaited tenth Champions League title.
However, this season, the Welshman has come under criticism despite bagging 13 goals and contributing nine assists in 31 La Liga outings.
He also scored two in 10 in the Champions League, but was guilty of a handful of misses in the ill-fated semi-final against Juventus, provoking the ire of Real fans in the process according to The Guardian.
This summer, Moyes’s replacement at Old Trafford—Louis van Gaal—has also sought to add Bale to his list of new additions.
The club have already signed Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven [via ManUtd.com], but a £110 million bid for both the ex-Spur and his teammate Rafael Varane was rejected by Real according to the Daily Express.
It remains to be seen if United will make an improved offer for the forward.