The price Arsenal paid for Theo Walcott apparently ruined Manchester United’s plans to sign Gareth Bale.
Sir Alex Ferguson was notorious for picking out the brightest young talents other clubs had on their books. The legendary manager would prize them away from smaller clubs, luring the youngsters to the glamour of Manchester United.
Gareth Bale appears to be the one that got away.
In January of 2006 Arsenal paid Southampton 12 million pounds for Theo Walcott. It was at a time when Gareth Bale was still only 17 and barely making waves at St. Mary’s.
However, the Welsh winger had already caught the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Speaking The Athletic Saints boss George Burley insist that their offer was flatly rejected based on the price they had commanded for Theo Walcot and believing Bale would be even better.
“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.”
“We’d already sold Theo Walcott for £12 million and they offered three or four million so we said ‘no way’.”
Bale would ultimately go to Tottenham for around 14 million pounds 18 months later.
United would miss out on Bale a second time some six years later when they had a world record bid matched by Real Madrid and the Welshman opted for the Bernabeu over Old Trafford.
Bale’s time at the Spanish giants appears all but over. It remains to be seen if United will ever see him in their red jersey as it now seems he is no longer wanted by his onetime suitors.