Vincent Tan reveals how Gareth Bale’s transfer to Cardiff broke down and future hope that he could still be a Bluebirds player one day.
The owner Vincent Tan spoke live with talkSPORT days on from the Wales international picking the MLS over the Championship this summer.
He says Bale “really wanted to come” and help Cardiff, but accepts that Los Angeles FC’s offer and commercial clout and no doubt the amount of golf course nearby his new home was too much for the Welsh captain to turn down.
Cardiff were in the conversation to sign Bale, 32, and were thought to be in a straight shootout with LAFC. He visited the training ground last week and had talks with manager Steve Morison with players looking on. See more on that HERE.
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) June 25, 2022
A few days later, talks escalated between Bale’s representatives and LAFC and, ultimately, the player, who has made the most of as many holidays as possible lately, wants a new adventure in the US, signing a one-year deal reportedly with scope to extend thereafter. Though the current MLS season began in February and ends in October.
Cardiff carried on operating as normal and bringing in as many as nine players this summer so far, not getting too excited and if anything trying to put the Bale situation at the back of their mind should he end up not signing a deal to join.
Though there was a stage when Cardiff were confident about landing him, with Tan himself revealing Bale was very interested in securing a move to the Bluebirds.
“We were very very keen, he would have been a big coup for us,” Tan told talkSPORT. “It would have been great for Gareth Bale to play for his hometown, all the Welsh would be very happy if Gareth Bale returned home and played for Cardiff.
“Personally, I think LAFC’s offer was too attractive for him to turn down. But originally he really wanted to come, the money wasn’t the matter. We came up with what we thought was a good offer to him, but finally it was very hard to compete when there is a lot of big American advertisers, a lot of commercial deals which were very good for Gareth Bale.
“We tried our best but we failed.
“Initially with Gareth, it wasn’t really the money, he just wanted to help Cardiff and help Wales. That’s why we could negotiate with him. He tried his best to join us but eventually I think the offer from LAFC was just too big to turn down.”
Tan, who himself once owned 40% of LAFC before selling his stake to American investors, had been keeping an extremely close eye and was personally invested in, appears to accept Bale’s decision to move to LA and leaves the door open if he potentially ends his career at his hometown club after his spell at LAFC comes to an end.
“His contract is for 12 months, lets see what happens,” Tan went on. “Maybe Gareth, by then, will probably want to come back and come home and serve his country, serve Cardiff, his hometown. He has never played in Cardiff, he and his family are fans of the club.
“So, hopefully, in 12 months’ time, he is still young, he will only be 34, some players come back and play until they are 40 years old. So he has still got a few years he can play and hopefully he will come and play for Cardiff after this (contract with LAFC finishes).”
Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, revealed a few weeks ago when talking with WalesOnline that his client’s next move wouldn’t be dictated by finance.
He said last month: “What Gareth does next is not about money. It will be solely about what he wants to do at this stage of his career, where he wants to be.”
Details of his financial package with the MLS outfit have now been reported with the The Athletic claiming that Bale has put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the club which will see him earn no more than $1.6125 million (£1.3 million) in that time along with additions. An 18-month extension is also on the table which sees an increase his salary and make him LAFC’s designated player.
He is taking a pay cut compared with what he was earning at Real Madrid, with his take-home salary believed to have been around £350,000 a week.
LAFC’s general manager John Thorrington said the deal to take Bale to the west coast wasn’t about money.
“It wasn’t a financial conversation with Gareth or us,” he revealed. “If Gareth was making this decision with financial motives he wouldn’t be in MLS.
“This league is really exciting globally and he saw an opportunity to make a real impact. He sees here an opportunity to make a difference with the stage we provide.
“He sees the chance to pull this sport up to competing with the other sports. As much as possible, understanding how to manage a player like Gareth, a Ferrari or thoroughbred racehorse, they need extra attention in order to succeed, we’re confident we’ll be able to do that.
“The benefit of him joining the group we have, we will have a player who can play as much as he can, but we will do so sensibly.
“His priority will be at LAFC but we’re not naïve – he has a World Cup on the horizon and how we manage his preparation ahead of the World Cup will be important to Gareth and the success of LA, but we want him peaking after the game with the US! The exact preparation he needs will be the same for us as it is for the World Cup, which I know for Wales is an historic one.”
Fans reacted as Vincent Tan reveals how Gareth Bale’s transfer to Cardiff broke down…
@MarkWhittle1: He’ll never join Cardiff. Tan is dreaming
@Matty1991Davis: He’s a multi-millionaire, if he really wanted to join you he would have done 😂
@BenJefferszn: “He tried his best to join us.” 😂 If I he really tried his best he would have signed
@Cariadlawn73: No. He really wanted to go to LA, or he’d be a Cardiff player. You can understand why he took the easy road tho. I have no doubt that in 18 months we will be right back here, but will the spark. Don’t forget, Bale is as much Blue as Red. He will have a role in Cardiff one day.
@JonTucker2_: Don’t particularly fancy a 34 or 35 year old bale myself
@CantonEndSR: As the dust settles and the disappointment eases I think everyone can agree that we would have done the same in Bales position. I still think he will come here one day, but next time I wont get as excited until he is holding up the shirt at the CCS 😁😁
@philsmith_91: Bale taken the easy option. Can’t blame him can you. Who the fuck would want to live in Cardiff
@codders03: Bale goes on about how proud he is to be Welsh but truth is he is just a greedy git he is that proud he will go anywhere rather than come back and live in Wales Cardiff are better off without him
@drai_king: Can’t blame for picking sunny LA than dreary wales
@CCFCEthan21_: Bale will deffo join next year, the saga will return
@DaioGoddard: Not about the money but the deal commercially was too good to turn down 🤷🏻♂️
@matthewjamesali: This falls in line with what Abbondonato was saying on the weekend. Very confident of a deal being completed early last week but then began to drift away by Friday (Bale exploring other options etc). @FabrizioRomano the journalist tap in merchant chatting absolute guff
@ieuu94: Any Cardiff fans having a go at Bale for choosing LAFC are literally clueless.
@benj8min: Maybe Cardiff didn’t offer what he asked for… He wanted to come, they tabled an offer, negotiated, then he went elsewhere. Its not a conundrum.
Yep, Cardiff were very much at the table. Who knows what it was that ultimately swayed it in the end, but it is clear Bale was definitely interested in the proposition. All seemed to change rapidly over the course of a week
— Glen Williams (@GlenWilliams12) June 27, 2022
@SJRichards79: So it was about money then? That’s disappointing but understandable!
@matthewjamesali: Don’t think he’ll be on a big wage there but the lucrative sponsorship/commercial revenue he’d get in the MLS would far outstrip anything an EFL club could offer. City did their best but it wasn’t to be. You can tell LA swooped in very late hence his bog standard announcement vid
@KianEason: fuck sake man. as long as he plays for us one day then i’ll be happy
@regan_wightman: Joker. Tan out
@BarmyBluebird94: Vincent Tan speaking to talksport, saying the offer LAFC put to Bale was to good to turn down but still holding out hope he may join Cardiff in 12 months time
@josh_wats09123: Christ we’ll have to go through it all again one day?
@SmokingKipper: He just needed a little more money (fuel and energy prices being what they are right now).
@TheSmorginator: If he’d wanted to help. He’d have signed
@Phillip92336834: Is last chance to earn big money and less chance of him getting injured b4 the world cup
@ccfcmatchworn: The ‘lucrative’ part is bollocks, if it’s true that he wanted to help his hometown club then he was already dismissing obvious more lucrative offers elsewhere.
@NigelBlues: Unsure it is. He wouldn’t have gone to another British club who would have offered far more. Money wasn’t driving him to come home. There will be family and lifestyle reasons for US of course but the commercial deals he and his agent can get there can be significant.