Manchester United launched a late offensive in a bid to hijack Gareth Bale's move to Real Madrid, reports the Sunday Telegraph.

Officials at Old Trafford reportedly had a series of phone calls with their Tottenham counterparts and met face-to-face at least once to discuss a potential deal for the Welshman.

The Red Devils told Tottenham that they were prepared to pay up to £100m for Bale and Spurs were ready to negotiate, seeing it as a perfect opportunity to offload Emmanuel Adebayor in the process.

Manchester United were desperate to land one marquee signing to reassure fans after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, but knew convincing Bale to give up on his dream to join Real Madrid would be a hard.

Bale had already rejected an approach from Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the summer having set his heart on a move to the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid, who had been talking with Tottenham since May, had long convinced Bale that the Spanish capital was the place to be by the time United made an approach.

Tottenham, who have dealt with Manchester United twice in recent years with deals for Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov, were not keen on dealing with a Premier League rival and knew fans would not be happy seeing another star move to Old Trafford.

Not only did Tottenham want more money from Manchester United, they also wanted David Moyes to agree to take Adebayor as well.

The Togo international was told he was surplus to requirements at the start of the season and Andre Villas-Boas was keen to get the club's highest earner off the wage bill.

Ultimately, Manchester United decided against making a bid for Bale, knowing that another high-profile failure in the transfer market would look bad on the club - they had already failed in attempts to sign Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabergas.

Ed Woodward and Moyes didn't think Bale could be convinced to reject Real Madrid, who he was already very close to joining.

Eventually Bale joined the La Liga giants in a world record £86m deal.

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