The incredible story of how Italy and Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini almost signed for Sunderland
Italy and Juventus legend Giorgio Chiellini almost once signed for Sunderland, it has been sensationally claimed.
Chiellini will line-up against England at Wembley tonight as the two sides do battle in the Euro 2020 showpiece final.
Ahead of the game, it has been reported by the Mirror that Sunderland came close to signing the defender for £8million back when Roy Keane was in charge.
Having worn the black and white of Juventus for the best part of two decades, he could have been wearing red and white, it is reported.
Mick Brown, then Sunderland chief scout, told the Mirror: "It was a day like many others when I took a call from an agent who said, ‘Would you be interested in Chiellini?’.
“I replied, ‘Does a child like Christmas? Absolutely, we would, yes. But there’s no chance he’ll come here’.
“He said, ‘Leave it with me’, so I did. A couple of days later, he called me back and said, ‘Chiellini is up for it’.
“So, I went and saw Roy Keane and left it with them. Subsequently, I asked the boss what was going on and he said, ‘It’s all but done’. You could have knocked me down with a feather.
“A fee was agreed with Juventus – £8million – and Chiellini’s terms had been as well. We were all set to go.
“I thought, ‘If we get this over the line, we have swum the Channel’.
“But somewhere in the negotiations in the hierarchy – it was nothing to do with Roy or me, Roy wanted Chiellini to come – it fell down over £200,000. Who wanted it or what it was for, I don’t know.
“It was a real shame because I’d put my life on this kid turning out to be a cracker.
“Can you imagine what he would have been like? He would have been another Charlie Hurley for Sunderland.”