David Moyes has revealed he came close to making Gareth Bale his first signing at Manchester United in 2013.
The Scot was appointed as United manager following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, but lasted just 10 months in the job before being sacked with the club eventually slumping to a seventh-place finish.
Reflecting on his short spell at Old Trafford, Moyes has revealed he was hopeful of concluding a deal to bring Bale to United, but was ultimately unable to tempt the Wales forward away from making a then-world record move to Real Madrid.
“I wanted him to be my first signing at Manchester United,” he told eirSport.
“We came close, spoke to him, but he had his heart set on Real Madrid and we couldn’t talk him out of it.
“It was a real disappointment because I saw him as a Manchester United type player.
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“He carries himself well, I think he’s a terrific player. He can play wide, we can play as a striker now that he’s developed that.
“I just think all round he’s a terrific athlete and a brilliant footballer so I think that he would have fitted what we wanted but I couldn’t talk him out of it.”
Moyes made just one major summer signing with Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini arriving from his former club Everton for £27.5m.
Bale has won four Champions League titles and one La Liga crown during his six seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring 101 goals in 218 appearances.