Peter Crouch has claimed that both Liverpool and Nottingham Forest wanted to sign Gareth Bale before he burst on to the scene with Tottenham.
Crouch heard that Liverpool wanted to sign Bale from Southampton in the summer of 2007 before he moved to White Hart Lane.
And then Nottingham Forest were keen on the Wales international for just £2million when he was struggling at left-back in the early stages at Spurs.
Crouch wrote in The Daily Mail: “When I was at Southampton there was a buzz about two kids at the Academy — Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale. We heard all sorts of positive reports and I knew there was interest from Liverpool about signing Gareth in the summer of 2007.
“Our paths did not cross for another couple of years, until we were together at Tottenham. The young lad I saw initially had some confidence issues and had not enjoyed playing at left back. The talk was that he was going to go to Nottingham Forest for £2million.
“Then, though, he started to find his feet. He got faster, stronger. His confidence began to grow and gradually all those special things we had been told about when he was a kid started to come true.”