Roy Keane during his time at the helm of Sunderland. PA Archive/PA Images
What could have been

'It was never going to work' - Ex-Spurs forward recalls awkward Roy Keane meeting at Pizza Express

Mido points to a strange encounter with the former Sunderland boss as the reason behind his failed move to the Black Cats.

EX-TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR forward Mido has revealed his bizarre lunch meeting with former manager Roy Keane as the reason for his failed move to Sunderland.

The arrival of Dimitar Berbatov at the White Hart Lane in 2006 cast doubt over Mido’s future in North London, and thus he attracted interests from several Premier League clubs.

Sunderland were one of the clubs interested in the services of the forward, who scored 20 goals in 63 matches for Spurs.

In an attempt to get a deal over the line Keane invited Mido to lunch, but the meeting gave the Egyptian the impression that he should snub the Black Cats for a move to Middlesbrough.

“It was never going to work with me and Roy Keane,” Mido said on Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on TalkSport.

“He took me for lunch. He wanted to convince me to sign for Sunderland just before I joined Middlesbrough. I was at Tottenham.

Soccer - Carling Cup - Semi Final - Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Emirates Stadium Mido celebrating a goal for Spurs in 2007. PA Archive / PA Images PA Archive / PA Images / PA Images

“My agent Mino Raiola said, ‘Mido, Roy Keane wants to have lunch with you and show you the training ground’.

“So I went to Newcastle airport, he came to pick me up in his Range Rover, we went to Sunderland and he took me to lunch to Pizza Express.

I was very surprised that he didn’t talk to me much,” Mido continued.

“Normally you get a player for lunch, you try to talk to him and try to convince him to sign for your club, but he didn’t talk much, he was just very quiet.

I knew straight away that me and him, we could not work together, we would end up fighting. He was talking to me and looking at the ceiling.

“I knew straight away that it would not work.”

Mido went on to join Middlesbrough in July 2007, where he scored seven goals in 32 outings before he was sent out on loan to Wigan Athletic, Zamalek, West Ham United and Ajax.

Following his retirement from active football, the 36-year-old has since taken up managerial roles but he was recently fired by Saudi Professional League outfit Al Wehda.

Mido will be rooting for Egypt when they host the continent for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in June and July.

The Pharaohs have been drawn into Group A alongside Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Uganda.

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