The story of how Celtic beat Newcastle United to signing of Real Madrid ace

Former Real Madrid, Celtic and Everton midfielder Thomas Gravesen has revealed he turned down the chance to join Newcastle United.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 4:45 pm
TURIN, ITALY: Juventus' Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (C) evades Real Madrid's Danish Thomas Gravesen (L) and Ivan Helguera, during their Champions League 2nd leg football match at Delle Alpi stadium in Turin, 09 March 2005. AFP PHOTO/ Patrick HERTZOG (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)

In the summer of 2006 the Denmark international’s time at the Bernabeu was up and he was told to find another club.

Then manager Glenn Roeder, fresh from getting United back into Europe, was keen to sign the tough-tackling midfielder.

But the player opted for a move north of the border, instead of a stint on Tyneside.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Gravesen said: “Newcastle was very close. It was either them or Celtic. My time at Celtic was great – I loved every minute of it.

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“Fabio Capello was appointed (at Real Madrid) and was honest enough to tell me straight away – ‘listen, I won’t use you here. I want to use a different player in your position.

“I always liked it when people said that to my face.”