JIANGSU SUNING boss Cosmin Olaroiu has revealed Gareth Bale would have joined last summer had Real Madrid not insisted on a transfer fee at the last minute.
The 50-year-old has claimed that the potential signing was 90 per cent done, but Los Blancos changed their demands – leaving the Welsh wizard fuming.
It was reported in July that Bale was set to pocket £1million-a-week before tax in the Far East, but Real ultimately deemed the player too valuable to lose on a free transfer.
And now Olaroui has lifted the lid on how close he came to luring the four-time Champions League winner to Nanjing.
Speaking to United Arab Emirates news outlet The National, he said: “It was very close. The club agreed with his agent, his agent was there.
“We agreed with Madrid and in the last month… I don’t know what happened there, they lose some friendly games by a big score – Madrid changed their mind.
“First they said they would release him and we would have to pay his salary, then suddenly they said, ‘No, you have to pay for the transfer’.
“And paying the transfer and his salary was a little bit over the budget and so we looked for another player.
“But, actually, I know that it was done 90 per cent in the evening, and then in the morning everything changed. But Real Madrid, not us.”
Bale – who still has two years left to run on his contract at the Bernabeu – has featured in just 17 games this season, with the 30-year-old chipping in with three goals and two assists.
His agent Jonathan Barnett earlier this month state how Bale was keen on making the move to China, he said: “He got an offer that was impossible to refuse.
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“But Real Madrid wouldn’t sell him. They [Jiangsu Suning] couldn’t pay what Madrid wanted.He wanted to create a legacy. He wanted to bring Chinese football up.
“He had a vision that he could make Chinese football great. He’s won everything that he can win, and he’s done it many times.
“It was to create a legacy, his name, to be the first great player to go to China. But it wasn’t to be… And the money was special too. It would have made him the highest paid player on Earth.”
This post written by Jake Lambourne originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.