Gareth Bale rejected a world record £100million move to Manchester United last summer after being put off by the uncertainty surrounding the club, according to reports on Tuesday.
United have been long-term admirers of the Wales forward and although his agent has consistently denied the player would move to Old Trafford, The Independent reveals on Tuesday just how close they came to landing the 26-year-old former Tottenham star.
They claim United’s offer was accepted by the Real Madrid board but the player was persuaded by then-manager Rafael Benitez, with whom he enjoyed a good relationship before the Spaniard was sacked by Real three weeks ago, that his future lay in Madrid.
The paper claims United’s bid remains on the table for Real Madrid to consider, with the Red Devils still hopeful of a summer 2016 swoop for the Welshman, though Bale and his representatives will also need persuading that United have a cogent strategy in place and can offer him success, if they are to make a successful move for their prime target this summer.
Bale has since been told by new Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane that he can have a long and successful career at the Bernabeu while reports that he is in talks over a new deal at the club have since been denied by his agent.