Jose Mourinho told Gareth Bale he could only sign him for Man Utd if he forced through a transfer from his end at Real Madrid.
The former United boss wanted to sign Bale during his stint in charge at Old Trafford.
His attempts to persuade the winger on a switch even went so far as meeting with Bale while on a pre-season trip to the United States in 2017, where the superstar was holidaying.
At the time though Bale had only recently signed a new long-term contract with Madrid, who were crowned Champions League winners for the third time in four years the following May.
United meanwhile had just finished sixth in the table although had won the Europa League in Mourinho’s first season at the helm.
Jose Mourinho tried to sign Bale from Madrid in 2017 when United boss
Nevertheless it seems it wasn’t enough to tempt Bale from his happy life in Madrid.
According to AS , Mourinho said to Bale at the meeting in the US: “I can’t sign you because you don’t speak.”
While a transfer request from Bale would have no doubt helped to facilitate any negotiations, a move would have cost United astronomical amounts in both a transfer fee and wages.
Mourinho has since moved on to Bale’s former club Tottenham, but is thought to still be keen on working with the Welshman.
Both United and Spurs are the leading candidates to secure Bale’s signature if he leaves Madrid for the Premier League.
Such an opportunity would have been deemed almost impossible for Spurs previously, but reports from The Telegraph state Madrid are now open to paying half of Bale’s wages to try and send him out on loan.
Even so, that would make Bale the top earner at Tottenham, unless he was willing to take a pay cut in order to seal a return.
Madrid have slapped a £22million price tag for any clubs wishing to buy the 31-year-old, which is not unfeasible for Spurs but again wages could prove to be the stumbling block.
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It’s understood he would prefer to come back to the Premier League, though he was close to moving to China last year in what he felt was an “exciting project”.
That move was blocked by Madrid chiefs, who Bale says are making it “very difficult” for him to leave.
He was due to hold showdown talks with boss Zinedine Zidane on Wednesday but that discussion has been delayed after Bale returned to the club with a small injury following the international break.
The player said during his time away with Wales last week: “It’s on the club, I can’t really do anything. I have a contract. All I can do is carry on what I’m doing and hopefully something comes up.”