Darko Bodul ‘offered in swap deal for Gareth Bale’ in 2009

Darko Bodul in action for Dundee United. Picture: Getty Images
Darko Bodul in action for Dundee United. Picture: Getty Images
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DARKO Bodul, the Dundee United striker who has scored zero goals in 12 appearances since his move to Tannadice last summer, was apparently once offered in a bizarre swap deal for Gareth Bale.

A national newspaper report from back in 2009 credits Martin Jol – who used to manage Bale at Tottenham – with an interest in his former player.

Gareth Bale celebrates scoring for Real Madrid in their 7-1 win over Celta Vigo. Picture: AFP/Getty

Gareth Bale celebrates scoring for Real Madrid in their 7-1 win over Celta Vigo. Picture: AFP/Getty

Jol was Ajax boss at the time, while Bodul was a product of the Dutch club’s famed youth academy.

Back in ‘09, Bale - currently the most expensive footballer of all time - was struggling to get into the Spurs side and the North London club were not adverse to off-loading the Welshman for the right price.

Another famed almost-transfer from the time had Bale going to Birmingham City for a paltry £3 million.

This particular offering, according to the newspaper, wasn’t even a straight like-for-like swap.

While the Dutch side wanted Bale, they were only willing to offer Bodul on a season-long loan.

While he’s not exactly set the heather alight at United, the 27-year-old Bodul was once a top prospect and represented Croatia at various youth levels in addition to his career at Ajax, where he made a handful of appearances for the first team.

His strong career pedigree, which also included stints with Sturm Graz and Odense, is what attracted United manager Jackie McNamara.

However, he failed to live up to his reputation and early promise after arriving at Tannadice, and will remain one of McNamara’s more forgettable signings.

He’s played just once since October, coming on as a second half substitute in the New Year’s derby loss to neighbours Dundee.

He was told in November to find another club, but remains at United for the meantime, with his contract running until the end of next season.

Meanwhile, Bale stayed at Tottenham, eventually getting a consistent run in the first team and growing into the club’s best player.

He scored 26 goals from midfield in the 2012-13 season, earning himself a £85 million move to Real Madrid.