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McClair: Why Man Utd passed on signing young Bale

Former Manchester United academy chief Brian McClair has explained why they chose to pass on a young Gareth Bale.

United considered the Real Madrid star while he was coming through at Southampton.

“Because he was a certain age, we said we liked him," McClair told the Manchester Evening News. “But when you get to a certain age we have to seek the opinion of the first team recruitment department.

“Jim Lawlor (chief scout) had to make a decision about that because there was a transfer fee - he signed a pro contract.

“If you're going to buy him and pay whatever you are going to pay for him, then it's got to be 'What's the plan for him? You (the first team) have got to fancy him.'

“I don't think he was convincing for left back.

“You could say you liked him, but there's no point us trying to get him and you (the first team) thinking he's rubbish and he stalls."

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Paul Vegas

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