Premier League news

Bale reveals United snub

April 5, 2012
By ESPN staff

Gareth Bale has revealed he turned down the chance to join Manchester United, fearing he may have struggled to nail down a regular start.

Gareth Bale, Chris Smalling
GettyImagesGareth Bale felt his opportunities would have been restricted at Manchester United

• Bale backs Redknapp for England

After a tough transition to life in the Premier League following his 2007 move from Southampton, Bale has blossomed and is now one of the most talked about players in world football.

He is a key figure for Spurs and has attracted interest from the likes of Barcelona and AC Milan, but he could have been gracing the biggest stage in English football had he answered Sir Alex Ferguson's call in the positive.

"Man United were interested in me but I wanted to play first-team football," Bale told Match of the Day magazine. "I thought I had a better chance of getting that at Tottenham. The manager at the time, Martin Jol, told me he wanted me to go straight into the first team."

Bale is a key figure for Wales but he could have been pulling on an England shirt.

"That was an emotional debut," he said of his 2006 international bow against Trinidad & Tobago. "When I came on I knew I was the youngest ever Wales international, at the age of 16. I'm a proud Welshman - that's why I didn't choose to play for England. I could have, but I'd rather be Welsh!"