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‘Looking over my shoulder’ – Roy Keane brutally turned down Kenny Dalglish to join Man United for record fee

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Roy Keane joked he was ‘looking over his shoulder’ on his lads holiday after telling Kenny Dalglish he was signing for Manchester United.

The Irishman spent the majority of his illustrious career at Man United, scooping up a whopping seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League amongst other honours between 1993 and 2005.


Keane wrote his name in Man United legend - but things could have been oh so differentCredit: Getty

But the former midfielder’s career path could have been totally different had he followed through with a promise he made to Dalglish to sign for Blackburn.

Now, Keane has revealed just how awkward it was confirming to the Scotsman - who led Liverpool through one of the best eras in the late 1980s and won the league with Blackburn in 1995 - that he was off to sign for foes Manchester United in 1993.

Speaking on The Overlap, he said: “I remember Kenny rang me and I remember I was going to Ayia Napa with a few lads from Forest.

“And Kenny goes ‘I heard you’re off to United’ and I said ‘Kenny listen’...


Former Man United teammate Gary Neville - who had clearly heard this story before - prompted Keane to tell the viewers what Daglish called him.

“Something like ‘you’re a f****** joke, no one does this to Kenny Dalglish’,” he said.

And I remember he said something like ‘in Scotland, if you shake hands it’s a deal’.


Dalglish (middle) was apparently furious with KeaneCredit: GETTY

When asked by Neville if Keane would have been that fuming when he a manager, the 52-year-old - who has had spells in charge of Sunderland and Ipswich - said: “Yeah I would but if I was a manager, not until the deal is signed I suppose.

They’ve said yeah, then the following day they’ve gone to somebody else.

Roy Keane recalls being chucked through a pub window, but still kept hold of his bottle of wine after just moving to Manchester United from Nottingham Forest

“Listen we all know, but if things were done that night, I’d have signed for Blackburn!

But Kenny was going mad and I remember saying ‘look Kenny I’m going on my holidays tomorrow’ I said ‘listen I’m going to enjoy myself’ that’s you know, ‘I’ll sign for them when I get back’.

I swear!”

Neville and co were left cracking up at the idea of a young Keane on his boys holiday watching out for an angry Dalglish.

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Keane joked about having to keep his wits about him in Ayia NapaCredit: YouTube

Originally, Blackburn agreed a £4 million fee for Keane, with the midfielder activating his relegation clause in his Nottingham Forest contract after they dropped out of the top flight.

However, Dalglish realised they did not have the correct paperwork needed to complete the transfer and, with Blackburn’s offices then shut for the weekend, agreed to return to finish the deal on Monday.

Read More on talkSPORT

But despite their verbal agreement, Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United swooped in, hijacked the move and signed Keane on the Saturday for £3.75million, a British transfer record at the time.

Keane went on to play 477 games for United, 126 for Nottingham Forest and made 11 appearances for Celtic as he established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and beyond.

For more news relating to Manchester United, visit our sister site MUFC Live.

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