It may only have been a fleeting thought, especially at the price being quoted, but the new United manager will have thought about it all the same.
The biggest clubs are always interested in the best players, whether they have a realistic chance of signing them or not.
And at first look, United can give Bale everything he wants if Tottenham decide to sell.
They can offer Champions League football, a chance to win trophies and a competitive wage. But it's unlikely to get that far.
Interest is one thing, but making a firm offer is another entirely.
Bale showed last season that he's a player of world class ability.
But £85m is a lot of money. And, as far as United go, it's money that would seem better spent elsewhere.
Should Man United try to sign Gareth Bale?
As manager of Manchester United, Moyes has a duty to consider bids for the world's best players whenever they become available. It's the same for Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, Manuel Pellegrini at Man City, Tata Martino at Barcelona and Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.
But he has a greater responsibility to build a functional side.
And with such a desperate need for a central midfielder at Old Trafford, signing Bale would look a lot like paying top dollar for your car to get an expensive paint job while the engine is knackered.
Bale would most likely be a success if he were to make the move north; his frightening pace and lightening movement make it almost a certainty.
But say, just for arguments sake, they did beat Real Madrid to his signature. It wouldn't fill the hole in United's midfield, only cover up the cracks.
Substance over style, like choosing personality over looks, is sometimes the right way to go. Even if the one in question is looking pretty good.