Manchester United were prepared to pay a world record £100 million for Gareth Bale last summer, it has been revealed. The Sunday Telegraph says United attempted to hijack Real Madrid's £85 million deal to sign Bale in the final two weeks of the summer transfer window, with Tottenham using the opportunity to try to offload Emmanuel Adebayor to the Premier League champions.

In a series of phone calls - and also at least one face-to-face meeting - between high-level officials from both clubs, United indicated they would bid around £100 million for Bale if he could be persuaded to give up his dream of joining the Spanish club.

During informal talks which began directly after Spurs' opening league game of the season away against Crystal Palace on Aug 18, there was a suggestion that United might be persuaded to take Adebayor to Old Trafford if it meant they could sign Bale.

In the end, United decided not to submit a formal bid, so allowing Bale to move to Spain.

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