Jonathan Barnett also confirmed that another club - believed to be Manchester United - tabled a superior bid for the Welshman.
"The signing of Bale came close to collapsing. Tottenham made a bid for Bale to stay. Meetings were not always peace and love, they were harsh and conflicting meetings," revealed Barnett, quoted by Punto Pelota.
"The Spanish press could not understand why they could not close the signing for so much money, but if Tottenham needed it, he would have gone on the first day.
"Moreover, there was a club that offered more money than Real Madrid. A lot more money."
Asked to compare Bale with Barcelona ace Neymar, Barnett was adamant: "Bale has played in the Premiership and has won many awards. For me, he's better than Neymar."