David Ginola has revealed that Arsenal chairman David Dein made a late bid to sign him in 1995, but the call came after he had already committed to Newcastle United.
The former France midfielder was wanted by a host of clubs that summer. With Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan trying to build a team capable of winning the Premier League, St James' Park was an attractive place to be.
Ginola would spend just two-years on Tyneside before making the move to Tottenham where he was named PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year in 1999. He would go on to make 100 appearances for Spurs, becoming something of a cult hero in the process.
Late phone call
However, had Dein called him just days earlier in 1995, when he was still a PSG player, Ginola could have gone on to become a north London hero on the red side.
"I got another phone call from the Arsenal chairman David Dein at about midnight"
Asked how his eventual transfer to Newcastle came about, Ginola told FourFourTwo: "I didn’t know much about Newcastle to be honest, I just knew they had recently been promoted. It was Kevin Keegan who convinced me to come.
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"I was waiting for [Johan] Cruyff to phone me back to join Barcelona, so I delayed going back to Paris for pre-season training, but it didn’t happen so I got an offer from Newcastle.
"I was in Amsterdam with Terry McDermott about to sign for them when I got another phone call from the Arsenal chairman David Dein at about midnight wanting to know if I had signed for Newcastle as they wanted me at Highbury. But I had given my word to Newcastle so I went there."
Had a deal to Arsenal gone through, it would have almost certainly deprived Tottenham of one of their best players in the Premier League eras. Unfortunately, Dein would later get his hands on another Tottenham hero in Sol Campbell.
The Spurs captain left White Hart Lane for the short trip to Highbury in 2001 on a free transfer in a move that stunned English football.