Mido: Roy Keane tried to sign me for Sunderland in Pizza Express - so I joined Middlesbrough instead

Mido has revealed he snubbed a move to Sunderland after Roy Keane took him to Pizza Express in a bid to sign him.

By Ross Gregory
Tuesday, 23 April, 2019, 09:51
Mido joined Middlesbrough.

The Egyptian striker was the subject of a £6million bid by the Black Cats in the summer of 2007 after a disastrous spell at Tottenham Hotspur.

Keane then tried to convince the player to move to Wearside over a pizza, only for Mido to opt to join North East neighbours Middlesbrough instead after claiming the Sunderland boss barely spoke to him.

Roy Keane.

Mido told Talksport: "My agent Mino Raiola called me and said 'Mido, Roy Keane wants to have lunch with you and show you the training ground'.

"So I went to Newcastle Airport and he came to pick me up in his Range Rover. We went to Sunderland and he took me to lunch at at Pizza Express.

"I was really surprised that he didn't talk to me much. Normally when you get a player to lunch you try and convince him to sign for the club but he didn't talk much, he was very quiet but I knew straight away that me and him couldn't work together, that we would end up fighting.

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"I knew straight away. He was talking to me and looking at the ceiling, me and him it would never work.

"I ended up going to Middlesbrough and playing for a totally different manager, totally different character in Gareth Southgate. I have a lot of respect for Roy Keane, he is top man."

Keane, it seems, didn't take kindly to the snub by the Egypt striker, who went on to play just 25 times for Boro in an injury-hit spell.

"The third week of the season, we played Sunderland," Mido added. "I saw him (Keane) in the tunnel and tried to shake his hand, but he wouldn't shake my hand.

"He took it personally that I refused to go and sign for Sunderland.