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Ferguson: United made Bale bid
Published : 15 Jan 2011 07:00:11
Had Sir Alex Ferguson got his way Gareth Bale would be turning out in a red shirt at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
With 11 goals to his name, including a hat-trick against Inter Milan in the San Siro, the 21-year-old Tottenham star has catapulted himself into an elite group of world stars. It is talent Ferguson spotted a very long time ago, only to be thwarted in his attempt to get it.
"We tried to sign him as a 16 or 17-year-old boy," reflected the United chief. "Southampton had a Scottish chief executive and George Burley was the manager. I don't know the full circumstances but they didn't accept our offer and I think they must have alerted Tottenham."
It has proved to be a major gain for Tottenham, although not before Bale was switched from a full-back to an orthodox wide player, the high point coming against Inter at the San Siro in October when he scored a sensational hat-trick.
"Bale has made the best contribution without a doubt," said Ferguson. "Eleven goals for a wide player is a really good return."
Not that Ferguson feels Bale is the only threat.
"Van der Vaart has made a contribution goals-wise," said Ferguson.
"He has good ability on the ball, so he has been a good signing and Luka Modric and Aaron Lennon are also dangerous."