In his autobiography, Redknapp vigorously denies this but, for Comolli, the way he secured Bale shows his true worth as director of football.
Alerted by Tottenham's chief scout, Comolli went to see Bale play for Southampton in 2006.
"We were looking for a left-sided, left-footed player. I don't know how many times I saw him that season - home, away, cold days, windy days, good days - his talent was just unbelievable.
"It was a long chase. I developed a close relationship with his parents. The key was convincing the player.
"We told him he would have a chance to play, even if he was only 18. He told me there weren't any 18-year-old left-backs in the top four or five in the Premier League. I said, 'I know, but you can play left midfield.' He replied, 'No, I don't think I can play left midfield.' I said, 'Listen, you can play left midfield.'"
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