Man United boss Ferguson still frustrated at missing out on Bale

Sir Alex Ferguson admits his frustration at Manchester United's failure to sign Gareth Bale before the Welshman joined Tottenham

gareth bale
Gareth Bale has scored 19 league goals for Tottenham this season Photo: Back Page Images

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted his frustration at Manchester United’s failure to sign Gareth Bale before the Welshman joined Tottenham.

Bale sealed a move to Spurs from Southampton in 2007 and has since developed into one of the most sought-after talents in world football, winning the PFA young player and senior player of the year awards last week.

Ferguson revealed that United made an enquiry over the player’s availability but was left frustrated by Southampton’s failure to discuss a potential transfer with the Red Devils before Bale moved to north London.

“We were disappointed in Southampton at the time because we were first there, but they never came back to us,” Ferguson said.

“It was not the boy who turned us down, it was Southampton, then a few weeks later he signed for Tottenham Hotspur.

“He [Bale] was a left-back when we tried to sign him. It wasn’t until Harry [Redknapp] went to Tottenham that he converted him into a wide left player.

“He reminds me a bit of when we signed Lee Sharpe. He was a six-foot, gangly, slim boy, but all of a sudden he was built like a light-heavyweight boxer.

“Bale is the same in the way he has developed in the last two years physically. He has matured very well.”

The 23-year-old Bale has scored 19 Premier League goals for Tottenham this season.

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