Newcastle United and Manchester United were involved in a heated battle during the late 1990s. The Manchester club came out on the successful side on more than one occasion, which left Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan walking out of the club in 1997.
Now, former chairman of the club, Freddy Shepherd says that Newcastle tried to get Sir Alex Ferguson has the replacement, but the later understood that the Scot was just using them to get a much bigger deal at Old Trafford. Ferguson was one of the young and upcoming managers with a big reputation back then.
He had achieved a lot of success with United, which prompted speculation about a possible move to Newcastle. Shepherd has said that Ferguson’s advisers were very confident about sealing a move to Newcastle, but it was not until later that the north-east club found out that such interest was generated only to get much bigger contract at Old Trafford. Newcastle have since been on the decline and even relegated to the Championship for one season. They are now back in the top flight, but nowhere near enough the heydays achieved during the Shepherd era.
Newcastle then went and brought in former Liverpool striker Kenny Dalglish as their manager. He also managed to go close to winning the title, but was ultimately beaten by United.
“When Keegan left we tried to get Ferguson to Newcastle as his replacement. We had talks with his advisors at the time. We soon realised there was no way he was going to come to Newcastle. He was just trying to get an increase in salary. We knew we were just being used. We were ambitious, we tried to get him – at least we tried,” said Shepherd, who also lambasted the club for still retaining manager Alan Pardew after his lack of discipline.