Man United had helicopter waiting to hijack Gareth Bale deal
United did all they could to try and bring Bale to Old Trafford in 2013
By now, it's little secret that David Moyes would have quite liked to have signed Gareth Bale when he arrived as Manchester United manager in 2013.
After taking charge of United from Sir Alex Ferguson, Moyes identified Bale - along with Toni Kroos and Cesc Fabregas - as priority signings. In the end, the winger opted for a move to Real Madrid and United failed to land any of their new manager's top targets (sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it?). Instead, Moyes had to settle for an eleventh-hour deadline day deal for Marouane Fellaini, instead.
This isn't to say, however, that United didn't do all they could to bring Bale to Old Trafford, as Moyes has now revealed.
Ahead of taking his West Ham side to face Tottenham, where Bale is expected to make his second debut for the north London club, the Scot has recalled how close he came to signing him. United, he says, offered more money than Real and even readied a helicopter to try and hijack his then-world record move to Spain.
"Gareth Bale was probably the first name I thought of when I got the [United] job," he said. "I thought Gareth Bale was a Manchester United player. He was the right type. United have a great history of wide players with George Best up to Ryan Giggs and a whole of lot of other brilliant ones in between.
"I wanted Gareth Bale to be my first signing at Manchester United. But it was already down the road a bit with Real Madrid. I tried to hijack it. I tried to get him. Manchester United offered more money than Real Madrid. They offered more money to the player.
"We did everything we could to try and get the player. We even had a helicopter at the training ground to take him and bring him back. We thought we had a chance. But he chose real Madrid and he made a brilliant decision because he went on to win four Champions Leagues. He’s had a brilliant career.”
Bale's final 18 months at Real were not covered in glory but his overall body of work with Los Blancos, especially in the Champions League, was exceptional.