Gareth Bale explains decision to reject Manchester United transfer

Bale, who was 17 years old at the time, had enjoyed a promising 2006/2007 breakthrough campaign as an energetic left-back with Southampton in the Championship. The teenager netted five goals in the second tier – a hint at his attacking tendencies to come.

Such form attracted interest from top Premier League clubs, with United deploying fellow Welshman Ryan Giggs in an attempt to lure Bale to Old Trafford. However, he ended up joining Tottenham in a 10million deal and has recently explained why.

I rejected Manchester United and went to Tottenham,” Bale said. “At the time, United were the biggest team in the Premier League, winning trophies, with the best players and the best coach.

The easy decision would have been to go to United, the biggest club in England when I played for Southampton. You always want to be at the biggest clubs, but I made the decision to play football.

“At that age, many players would look for money and want to go to a bigger club. It was important for my development to keep playing football, thats why I chose Tottenham.