Harry Redknapp dismisses claims he tried to sell Gareth Bale in his early Tottenham days
Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has rubbished rumours he tried to sell Gareth Bale during his time at White Hart Lane.
Redknapp was Spurs boss during Bale’s meteoric rise to stardom, as the Welshman transformed from a bit-part player to a world beater.
However, Bale’s Tottenham career got off to a dreadful start following his £10million move from Southampton in 2007.
Amazingly, the club did not record a single victory in any of Bale’s first 24 appearances, leading many to question whether he should be picked.
And rumours emerged to suggest Redknapp was listening to offers as low as £3million from Birmingham, Nottingham Forest, and Fulham.
However, in 2009, Redknapp said: “I’m not looking for a left-back because you won’t get a better one than Gareth Bale.”
His faith was eventually repaid as Bale moved forward to left-wing and became one of Tottenham’s greatest ever players.
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Despite his recent struggles at Real Madrid, he remains among the world’s top talents, and Redknapp says it’s ludicrous to think he would’ve ever sold the Welshman.
“He was fantastic,” Redknapp told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“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’.”
Bale finally broke his winless hoodoo as a late substitute during the 5-0 victory over Burnley in 2009, and Redknapp admits it was a conscious decision to end the curse.
“If he came on as sub he didn’t win, if he started we didn’t win.
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“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.”
Bale has come in for widespread criticism from the Spanish press for an alleged attitude problem, and he was even booed by the Bernabeu faithful during their recent defeat to Barcelona.
His agent has been forced to defend him from claims he’s hardly bothered to learn Spanish and doesn’t get along with his team-mates.
And Redknapp admits the Welshman is not the sociable type.
“He’s not a lad who goes out and enjoys a day at the races, I think he’s a bit of a loner,” he added.
“He’s a nice, quiet lad.”