Jermain Defoe has revealed that soon after Gareth Bale’s heroics against Inter Milan in the Champions League back in 2010, the Serie A giants made a serious attempt to poach the winger from Tottenham.
Bale struggled to fulfil his potential during his first couple of seasons at Tottenham, partly owing to injury issues but after Harry Redknapp decided to move him from left-back to left-wing, he never looked back.
It was his performances in the two group-stage Champions League games against Inter that got the world to stand up and take notice of his talent.
The pacy-wide man netted a hat-trick at the San Siro against the side who were the reigning European champions at the time before putting them to the sword at White Hart Lane as Spurs emerged 3-1 winners.
Inter Milan wanted to sign Gareth Bale from Spurs
Bale got his big-money move to Real Madrid a couple of years later but Defoe has revealed that the Nerazzurri made a big offer to sign the Welshman soon after his Champions League displays.
The former Spurs striker said On The Judy Podcast: “He was meant to go on loan to Nottingham Forest and then Gaz got his chance and played in the Champions League against Inter Milan, a world-class performance in both legs.
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“That was one of the best performances I’ve seen. Did you know that they put a bid in afterwards? Inter said they wanted him for £40m. I’d never seen anything like it.”
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If this is true, it is quite strange that we did not hear anything about this story at the time as it is very rare that high-profile transfer offers for big players are kept a secret.
£40m was huge money 13 years ago but Tottenham’s decision to turn it down proved to be the right decision, given that Bale fetched well over double that price not too long after.