Ex-Southampton boss tells story about Alex Ferguson and Gareth Bale hotel meeting

Former Southampton manager George Burley has claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson had a chat with Gareth Bale about joining Manchester United before he signed for Tottenham Hotspur.

In an exclusive interview with The Athletic, Burnley told his story: “He was like a winger playing at full-back. Manchester United were interested in him. I remember going to a hotel and speaking to Sir Alex and his chief executive [David Gill]. We’d already sold Theo Walcott for £12million (to Arsenal) and they offered three of four million so we said ‘no way’. I think they were a little bit worried about his defensive side of the game, which we were working at, but he could handle that.”

The Wales international was then signed by Spurs in 2007, so we can only imagine what it would have been like with Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in the same team, at that stage of their careers. They were team-mates at Real Madrid and conquered European football together more than once.

Bale has reportedly been on United’s radar ever since, though we long learned how to deal with such speculation…

*Runs to the bin*

I think it will always be a shame that he never got to play for United because he was an incredible player during his time at Spurs and again at Real Madrid. Bale had his injury problems but I will never comprehend the hardship he gets from Los Blancos supporters.

He would have been treated better at United. I like to think…

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