Former Ajax forward Darko Bodul has revealed Tottenham Hotspur were keen to sign him, but his coach Martin Jol wanted Gareth Bale in return.

Speaking to Spox, Bodul was asked about Tottenham’s interest in him, with claims they tried to sign him in 2009.

He said former Tottenham manager Jol, who was coach of Ajax at the time, wanted Bale in a swap deal if Bobul joined the Premier League side. The Austrian said Ajax sporting director Danny Blind turned down Tottenham’s advances because he rated the attacker.

“I remember it well. This transfer almost came about. Tottenham showed interest in me. Martin Jol wanted Gareth Bale in return. Danny Blind prevented the change. He did not want to let me go. Ajax saw a lot of potential in me, which unfortunately I could not meet,” said Bobul.

Bale signed for Tottenham in 2007, but struggled in his first few seasons at the club. However, the Wales international came of age during the 2010/11 season when performances for Tottenham in the Champions League brought him to the attention of major clubs.

Bodul currently plays for FC Amkar Perm in Russia and his story about the Tottenham transfer-that-never-was sounds like a growing fish. Spurs have a good record of signing players from Ajax, having brought in Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen as members of Mauricio Pochettino’s current squad.