Gareth Bale turned down more money to join Real Madrid over David Moyes’ Manchester United, according to the now-West Ham manager.
The Welshman joined Madrid in the summer of 2013, just as Moyes was trying to make his mark at United.
He targeted Bale to be his first signing at the club, offering more money than Madrid and having a helicopter on standby for Bale.
Bale looks set to make his second Tottenham debut against Moyes’ Hammers on Sunday.
“Gareth Bale was probably the first name I thought of when I got the job,” Moyes said. “I thought Gareth Bale was a Manchester United player. He was the right type.
“United have a great history of wide players with George Best up to Ryan Giggs and a whole lot of other brilliant ones in between.
“I wanted Gareth Bale to be my first signing at Manchester United. But it was already down the road a bit with Real Madrid. I tried to hijack it. I tried to get him. Manchester United offered more money than Real Madrid. They offered more money to the player.
“We did everything we could to try and get the player. We even had a helicopter at the training ground to take him and bring him back. We thought we had a chance. But he chose Real Madrid and he made a brilliant decision because he went on to win four Champions Leagues. He’s had a brilliant career.”