From The Vault: The time Niall Quinn tried to lure ex-Barcelona and Manchester United manager to Sunderland
There’s no doubting Niall Quinn’s validity as a Sunderland legend.
The former Republic of Ireland international formed an iconic partnership with strike partner Kevin Phillips, achieving promotion to the Premier League and back-to-back seventh-placed finishes in the top-flight.
Following Quinn’s retirement in 2003, the Irishman returned three years later to successfully broker a deal to buy a controlling stake in the club, becoming chairman before finally passing the Wearsiders onto Ellis Short.
Speaking to Matt Piper’s ‘Positive Vibes Podcast’ back in 2020, Quinn said: “We made an audacious bid to try and lure Louis van Gaal to Sunderland in my time as chairman.
"I don't know if anybody knows about it but he did speak to us, his wife spoke to us and he was just in between jobs.
"Everything was looking nice but he kind of got a bigger offer.
“I was dreaming a little bit but he was really good with us. He spoke to us, his wife spoke to us another time.
"We were just giving him the details of what the project will look like and it was one-to-one, really good, but unfortunately, he had bigger fish to fry."
Quinn remained at the club under Short until 2012 before resigning his post, but not before he made an audacious attempt to lure the world-class van Gaal to Sunderland.
To date, the Dutchman has won major trophies in Holland with Ajax and AZ before moving onto do big things with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and the Dutch national team.