Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has denied reports that he once tried to sell ex-club star Gareth Bale.
The Welshman spent six years at Spurs – establishing himself as one of the most exciting footballers in world football – before moving to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2013.
Redknapp backed Bale: Five things you need to know…
- Gareth Bale moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 from Southampton for a transfer fee of £10 million.
- Starting out as a left-back, Bale then converted to a more attacking position of which he is well-known for today.
- Before transforming into a world-class player, Bale struggled at Spurs and failed to win in any of his first 24 appearances for the club.
- In total, Bale made 203 appearances for Spurs, scoring 56 goals.
- The 29-year-old moved to Real Madrid in 2013 for a then-world record transfer fee of £85.1 million.
The Madrid forward – who has made 224 appearances for Madrid, scoring 104 goals – didn’t set the world alight at the start of his Tottenham career, with many believing that the then-left-back would fail to develop into half the player he is today.
One man who seemingly had confidence that Bale would become the world-beater he is today was former boss Redknapp. Despite reports suggesting that the former Spurs boss wanted to part with the Welshman, Redknapp insists that was never the case, with his ability on the pitch clear to see.
“He was fantastic,” Redknapp told Talksport. “Maicon was supposed to be the best right-back in the world and he almost ended his career at the San Siro. He was amazing.
“Someone came up with a rumour that I was trying to loan him out to Coventry or something, never at any time.
“I watched him play for Tottenham while I was manager of Portsmouth, in a game against Fulham, and I thought, ‘What a player this guy is’.”
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The Bale curse
Although Bale is struggling to maintain a positive relationship with the demanding Madrid support, his talent is undeniable.
This season, Bale has scored eight goals in 22 La Liga outings, with Madrid struggling for form throughout the entire campaign, sitting third in La Liga, with both their title hopes and Champions League dreams over for this season.
Bale’s bad luck is fleeting but it has appeared before. 24 matches into his Tottenham Hotspur career, the former Southampton youngster failed to partake in any victory for the Londoners, a pressure that seemed to play on the mind of many.
Redknapp discussed how he helped his former player get rid of that curse. He said: “If he came on as sub he didn’t win, if he started we didn’t win.
“So I stuck him on against Burnley when we were 3-0 up with six minutes to go. I thought, ‘He can’t mess this up!’
“We got the win and he got the monkey off his back.”