Benitez admits he tried to sign Bale for Liverpool

Bale now works with Benitez at Real Madrid. Credit: PA

Rafael Benitez has admitted that he tried to sign Gareth Bale for Liverpool when he was in charge at Anfield.

Real Madrid manager Benitez now works with Bale day-in-day-out and says Southampton wouldn't sell their prize asset to Liverpool in 2006.

Benitez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero: "Back in 2006 I went to see Bolton-Southampton. We transferred a player to Southampton but they wouldn't give us Bale.

"Then when we tried to buy him, we couldn't. I've known for a long time he was a great player.

"Carragher has made the mistake of saying I preferred Riise when it wasn't like that."