Jose Mourinho: I wanted Bale at Real
WASHINGTON DC -- Jose Mourinho has told ESPN that he tried to sign Gareth Bale for Real Madrid last season and tipped the winger to be a success should he move to the Bernabeu.
Bale, 24, appears to be closing in on a switch to Madrid, who are reportedly ready to smash the world transfer record to land the Tottenham star.
But Real’s interest is not a new development according to Chelsea boss Mourinho, who asked for an offer to be put in for Bale when he was at the helm of Los Blancos.
“I asked the club to buy him last season but it was not possible,” Mourinho revealed to ESPN’s Roger Bennett ahead of Chelsea's Guinness Cup match against AC Milan.
“It looks like it is happening this season so I am happy for them because they have got a fantastic player but, of course, the numbers are huge numbers and the kid has to go now and there’s pressure to prove that he’s worth that investment.”
But despite the potentially breathtaking transfer fee, Mourinho believes that should Madrid secure Bale’s services the Welshman would be seen as nothing but an excellent addition to Carlo Ancelotti's squad.
“I think he’s a fantastic player and the way my Real Madrid was playing, I think it was an easy player to fill a space and to get into that tactical dynamic,” Mourinho said.
“I don’t know what Carlo is thinking now but Carlo is an experienced coach and for sure will get the best out of him.”
Meanwhile, Mourinho revealed that he puts his renowned self-confidence down to coaching big name players like Rivaldo and Ronaldo - whom he calls 'the real one' - as a young coach at Barcelona.
"I was manager for the first time in the 2000 year but, before that, I was assistant in big clubs and with big managers and coaching the best players in the world so I was 30 and I was coaching Ronaldo, not this one [Cristiano], the real one, the Brazilian Ronaldo,
"I was coaching Rivaldo, I was coaching Figo, I was coaching Guardiola, I was coaching big players when I was very, very young. So, at that time, I was not the manager, I was just an assistant but I was feeling that I had, in my hands, some potential and after that I start my career in the year 2000 and after four years I won my first UCL and, after that, everything comes as a consequence."