The La Liga giants would eventually get their man for a world record transfer fee after the summer's longest transfer saga but not without United being tenuously linked with an audacious move on occasion.
United sought to strengthen their Premier League-winning squad with a number of notable signings before the closure of the transfer window and according to Real Madrid club president Florentino Perez - sentiments echoed by Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett - United intended to hijack Real's deal with a significantly better offer for the Welshman.
However, United boss David Moyes has refused to comment on the Real Madrid chief's claims.
"If I was I wouldn't tell you," Moyes was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
"We don't talk about it. We only talk about the players we think there is a reason to talk about and I wouldn't comment on that."
Bale's agent Barnett also suggested that his client's protracted transfer to the Spanish capital encountered a number of problems over the summer months, some that came close to seeing the deal collapse altogether.
Such issues and the sheer length of the negotiation period between Real Madrid and Tottenham may have given United the green light to launch their own effort. While Barnett did not disclose the name of the other team to bid for Bale, Perez suggests the monstrous bid came from Old Trafford.
"Bale has come cheaply," Perez said. "Signing the best players out there is Madrid's philosophy and Bale was the best available player on the market this summer. We had been following him for two years.
"Tottenham did not want to sell. We learned that Manchester United had made an offer and we made one ourselves."
In what many have recognised as an ultimately disappointing transfer window for the Premier League champions, United failed with a number of bids for players including Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera, Leighton Baines, Fabio Coentrao and Sami Khedira before eventually sealing a deal for Marouane Fellaini.
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