José Mourinho has revealed he wanted Real Madrid to sign Gareth Bale last year and believes the club will have signed a "fantastic player" if the move goes ahead.
The Chelsea manager also warned Bale of the intense pressure to justify his price tag if Madrid manage to complete what would be a world-record transfer.
Mourinho, who left Madrid this summer after three years in charge before returning to Stamford Bridge, said: "I asked the club to buy him last season but it was not possible. It looks like it is happening this season so I am happy for them because they get a fantastic player. But the numbers are huge numbers and the kid has to go now and there's pressure to prove that he's worth that investment."
Mourinho believes Bale would have fitted in well in his Madrid side and expects his successor Carlo Ancelotti to make the most of the winger's talents.
"The way my Real Madrid was playing, I think it was an easy player to fill a space and to get into that tactical dynamic. I don't know what Carlo is thinking now but he is an experienced coach and for sure will get the best out of him."
Mourinho said one of his priorities at Chelsea would be to reassess the youth development system in the hope that his club can uncover talents such as Bale. Chelsea boast one of the most extensive academy set-ups in the Premier League but, while the junior team claimed the FA Youth Cup in 2010 and 2012, passage into the senior squad still remains relatively elusive. Those youngsters who excelled in flashes on the recent pre-season tour of Asia have not joined Mourinho's squad for the second leg in the United States.
"I'm curious to see how youth football in England is now structured, and I'll have to smell it,"Mourinho said. "I need to understand how the competition is working because, for example, in Spain my kid [José Mario], even when he was only 10, was playing in a championship of 16 teams, so 30 official matches in the league all against the best teams in Madrid. Those kids of 10 played international tournaments in the summer, at Christmas, at Easter, at Carneval [just before Lent] … I think there were five international tournaments to play during the season, so he was playing matches, matches, matches. They'd be at them for a week and would play against Americans, against Italians, against Brazilians.
"It's unbelievable the amount of matches they play. In the region of Madrid they also have the selection of the best local players and they have training sessions with the best kids of every competition organised by the federation. And we are talking about kids of 10 years old. So, for me, what we call the 'competitive calendar' is very, very important. In my time in England before, it was not like that. Now I'm not sure. But I've seen the under-21s (development squad) have a real calendar now, which is why Islam Feruz, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Andreas Christensen and Bertrand Traoré, if they stay at Chelsea, will play in that team.
"They will have their own league and the FA Youth Cup, around 50 matches. It was not like this in my previous time here, so I'm very curious how is the competition now in England.
"I'm curious to read the situation because it's sad to see the national under-20s drawing with Iraq, or the under-21s losing against Israel. That is not normal when they have the best league. My club is full of good people in the academy. The only thing I really need to look at is the competition."