David Moyes has revealed he was interested in bringing Gareth Bale to Manchester United and defended the under-fire Real Madrid star.
The Welsh forward has come under pressure for some lacklustre displays in his second season in Spain and he has been jeered by his own supporters as Real's season ended without a trophy.
However Moyes, who enjoyed a successful first season in charge at Real Sociedad as he guided them to a respectable 12th-placed finish, revealed exclusively to Sky Sports that he is a big fan of the player and tried to bring him to Old Trafford during his ill-fated short stay at Manchester United.
“Firstly, Gareth Bale is an outstanding player,” Moyes said.
“I was desperate to take him to Manchester United from Tottenham, but couldn’t quite get him. He had his heart set on going to Real Madrid.
“He was very much on my radar as soon as I went to United.
"He can score goals, can make goals, he’s got speed, he’s physically capable, and I think next year he will be a big star in Madrid."
I was desperate to take him to Manchester United from Tottenham, but couldn’t quite get him. He had his heart set on going to Real Madrid.
Bale admitted last week that 2014/15 had not been the "season we had hoped for" - as Carlo Ancelotti was axed as manager and replaced by Rafael Benitez.
However, the 25-year-old vowed to come back stronger next season and Moyes has no doubt he will do that if he continues to integrate himself further into the Spanish way of life.
“It is down to settling in,” Moyes said. “David de Gea took time to settle at Manchester United, it is not easy.
“We have to give him time, Bale is no different to anyone else.
“As a British player playing abroad, you have to get involved, immerse yourself in the culture. You have to get used to the living times, the eating habits.
“He is at a great club that will give him opportunity to succeed and I think he will.”