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Paul Gascoigne angered Fergie and Man United when Tottenham hijacked transfer

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 16, 2023
Paul Gascoigne angered Fergie and Man United when Tottenham hijacked transfer


This transfer window could be one of multiple hijackings.

Arsenal may be fretting over signing Declan Rice and Man United bosses are worried Bayern could pinch Kim Min-jae from under their noses.

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Gazza joined Spurs and became an England star after rejecting Fergie and UnitedCredit: Getty

If the Bundesliga giants are successful then at least it may be football reasons that persuaded him rather than a sunbed…

In 1988, Newcastle’s Paul Gascoigne was going to Man United before Tottenham swooped.

‘Gazza’ even told manager Alex Ferguson he’d join him and the Old Trafford boss went on holiday believing United had secured the services of one of football’s most exciting midfielders.

However, Spurs, under chairman Irving Scholar, offered to buy the player’s family a house, which helped sway him.

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“Off I go, and I’m lying by the pool when there is a Tannoy for me to take a call,” Fergie explained in an interview with the late journalist David Frost. “It was [chairman Martin Edwards] telling me Tottenham had [signed him instead] by buying Paul’s mum and dad a house in the north east.”

The promise of a new home wasn’t good enough, though, as his dad also asked for a car, given the new house had a garage.

Not only that, Spurs also bought his sister a sunbed!

“She should have got a spray tan and I would have a few more medals,” Gazza later joked as he recalled his regret on not joining United who dominated the Premier League in the 1990s.

Not long after Gazza burst onto the scene, the biggest clubs in England wanted him and United seemed in pole position to land him

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Not long after Gazza burst onto the scene, the biggest clubs in England wanted him and United seemed in pole position to land himCredit: Getty

However, he also admitted he worried about game time due to the presence of Bryan Robson and Neil Webb at Old Trafford.

Needless to say Fergie was not impressed when he returned home.

The manager had wanted him almost as soon as he took over at United in 1986.

A year into his reign, he was playing for relegation-threatened Newcastle – his boyhood club – in the First Division.

In midfield for Man United were Norman Whiteside, Bryan Robson and Remi Moses – “all great footballers” – Fergie told Frost.

“And he just tore them apart,” he said, referring to 20-year-old rising star.

He is the one player Fergie regrets not signing, reflecting that maybe he could have helped him avoid the trappings of living in the capital as a young lad.

Gascoigne joined Lazio from Tottenham for £5.5m in 1992 but his move abroad didn't work out

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Gascoigne joined Lazio from Tottenham for £5.5m in 1992 but his move abroad didn’t work outCredit: Getty
United, meanwhile, went on to dominate England throughout the 90s under Fergie

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United, meanwhile, went on to dominate England throughout the 90s under FergieCredit: getty

Gazza, meanwhile, won the FA Cup in 1991, scoring a memorable free-kick against Arsenal in the semi-final, but it went downhill after that with injuries.

His move to Lazio in 1992 didn’t work out either, though he had success at Rangers in 1995 and was part of England’s Euro 96 semi-finalists.

But it could have been different.

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“We could have taken London out the road of him. We had Bobby Charlton, a Geordie. We had Bryan Robson, a Geordie,” Fergie added.

“We had a structure of players who could have helped him – given him some discipline.”

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