Bale would have completed Man Utd transfer if it wasn’t for Giggs’ role

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When Gareth Bale first burst onto the scene as a teenager at Southampton, the Welshman had several top clubs lining up to tempt him away.

Both Manchester United and Arsenal were linked with Bale but he ended up joining Tottenham Hotspur, where he went on to become one of the most exciting wingers in world football and earn a then world record move to Real Madrid.

However, things could have been very different had he not joined Spurs when he was 17.

According to the Athletic, United were a serious option for Bale and they offered him a higher wage than Tottenham.

Despite this, the decision was made to join Spurs because Ryan Giggs was already established at United and first-team opportunities would have been more limited at Old Trafford.

Speaking to the Athletic, Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett said: "We turned down offers for bigger money because money at that stage was not that important. It's his career path, and the best opportunity, that matters.

"And that's what we do with every player. Money will come. I have the utmost respect for Mino [Raiola] in this regard, where he puts his players and how he plans. He's a genius. And that's the truth."

Barnett also spoke about the importance of ensuring players make moves at the "right time", adding: "There's a right time for a move. And there's a wrong time. And when you're a young agent, you don't always realise it.

"I had a young player, going back a long time, who was playing for a medium-sized team and a very big club came in for him. I had a phone call from the coach and he said, 'Jonathan, listen he's a great talent but he needs at least another year, he's not ready'.

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  • "And I didn't listen because I thought I knew it all. The boy wanted to go. I made it happen. And that boy failed miserably at that club.

    "He went on to have a good career but he didn't reach the heights he should have. That has always been in my mind because I know now he should have stayed the extra year."

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    • Gareth Bale
    • Manchester United FC

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