Bale was always seen as a back up to top target Jadon Sancho, whose proposed transfer from Borussia Dortmund has reached an impasse over the German club’s £108million valuation.
Wales international Bale is now set to rejoin Spurs on loan seven years after leaving them for Real Madrid in a world record deal.
United were prepared to discuss a short-term move for the 31-year-old after learning of Real’s determination to offload him this summer.
But despite him being a long-term target for executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, it’s understood the Old Trafford club never drove negotiations – instead considering him one of a number of alternatives to Sancho.
Ivan Perisic and Douglas Costa remain under consideration, but Sancho is still Solskjaer’s overwhelming priority before the window closes next month.