Gareth Bale almost signed for Liverpool but Reds refused cash plus player swap

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    Gareth Bale could have become an Anfield legend had Liverpool been prepared to spend a little bit of cash.

    The Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur legend announced he will be hanging up his boots, after winning five Champions Leagues, three La Liga titles, the Spanish Cup, and the League Cup over the course of his career. He also inspired Wales to back-to-back qualifications for the European Championship and the Dragons’ first World Cup adventure since 1958.

    However, things could have been very different for Bale as he was once subject of immense interest from Liverpool.

    Read More: Gareth Bale retires from all football after World Cup heartache and shares emotional post

    According to the Athletic, the Merseysiders’ scouts were blown away by the Welshman when he was a young left-back playing at Southampton. At the time, they were on a scouting mission to watch David McGoldrick turn out for Southampton against Bolton Wanderers in a youth team game in the 2005/06 season.

    Their attention was quickly turned to Bale after his very promising display from left back for the Saints. “The left-back was outstanding that day,” a member of Liverpool’s scouting delegation told The Athletic .“We went back and said, ‘McGoldrick isn’t for us but there’s this 16-year-old kid called Gareth Bale we should sign’. No one was really talking about Bale back then.

    "Southampton weren’t convinced themselves and he had only just earned himself a scholarship there.” Liverpool lunged in to make their move and poach Bale from St Mary’s Stadium by offering fringe midfielder Darren Potter, who was on loan at the Saints from Liverpool at the time, in what was a straight swap offer.

    Do you think Gareth Bale would have been a good signing for Liverpool? Let us know in the comments section below

    Unfortunately for the Reds, Southampton wanted a transfer fee to be included as part of the deal with Potter. “The response was basically, ‘cheeky b******s!’” the source continued, when asked if Liverpool were keen on paying cash plus Potter to sign Bale. “Potter was an established pro and Bale was still a kid with a lot to learn.”

    After Liverpool chose not to take up what would have been a bargain deal, Bale went on to join Tottenham the following year for £10m, who eventually had the nous to turn the Welshman into a winger. His jaw dropping performances on both wings convinced Real Madrid to spend a world record £86m to sign Bale in 2013.

    Meanwhile, Potter left Anfield for Wolves in 2006, where he would remain for three years before having spells at Sheffield Wednesday, MK Dons, Rotherham, Tranmere Rovers, and Altrincham, before retiring in 2020. The Republic of Ireland international had lots to be proud of in his career, but considering Bale went on to become one of the greatest British footballers of all time, it's fair to say Liverpool may have missed a trick on that occasion.

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    • Gareth Bale
    • Liverpool FC
    • Premier League

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