An incredible transfer revelation has emerged involving Newcastle United and Zinedine Zidane.
The Lowdown: Zidane’s career
Zidane has had quite a remarkable football career, both as a player and a manager.
The Frenchman won the Ballon d’Or back in 1998, and has also won both the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup, along with many other accolades (Transfermarkt).
He also won three Champions League titles in a row while managing Real Madrid, and has been named the World’s Best Coach on two separate occasions (Transfermarkt).
The Latest: Zidane turned down
Speaking to talkSPORT, Zidane’s agent at the time Barry Silkman revealed how back in 1996 the St. James’ Park faithful turned down the chance to sign his client, who was relatively unknown playing for Bordeaux in Ligue 1:
“I spoke with Kevin and said I’ve seen this player out in France and he looks absolutely fantastic. His name is Zinedine Zidane. He was 24 and this was in the January of 1996.
“Kevin said to me he would get somebody on it and has someone out in France and he knows the players and would get him watched.
“I said ‘Kev, one million per cent he will be good enough’.
“While I was there, I went to see the president of Bordeaux and he told me they wanted £1.2million and if they got that they would pay me a small commission out of it.
“I thought there was probably a deal to be done a £1million, but if I stick to £1.2million then at least I’m safe.
“I told Kevin the price was £1.2million. He sent somebody to watch him and then a couple of days after that he sent me a fax.
“He got his report back from the guy who watched him and said the player has got no chance of making it, at best he could play for Wolves – who were bottom of the First Division.”
The Verdict: What could have been
Given what Zidane has gone on to achieve in his career, it certainly seems strange that the person who was sent over to watch him by manager at the time Kevin Keegan did not think that he would be good enough for the North East club.
Should Newcastle have signed Zidane?
It is a story of what could have been on Tyneside, as Zidane could well have made the difference in them winning a Premier League title and just missing out.
Nonetheless, it is certainly such a fascinating story to hear for the Toon Army, and one that they will ponder over when watching the Magpies.
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