Anyone who followed Premier League football back in 1996 may remember Middlesbrough striker Fabrizio Ravanelli.
Borough managed to sign the Italian international from Juventus, an impressive signing for them at the time. Ravanelli also announced himself in England in style by netting a hat-trick against Liverpool on his Premier League debut.
Although he only ever played one full season for Middlesbrough, the forward netted an impressive 31 goals in 48 games (Wikipedia). This followed his 69 goals in 159 games for Juventus.
The man himself has now revealed that Tottenham made a last-ditch attempt to sign him when he moved from Middlesbrough to Marseille in 1997.
Unfortunately for Spurs, when then-chairman Alan Sugar made the phone call to Ravanelli, he was already in a taxi on the way to his Marseille flight.
The Italian claims that he would likely have gone to London and signed for Tottenham if the call had come one-day earlier, but he chose to push ahead with his Marseille move.
He told The Athletic: “Before leaving Middlesbrough, I received a call from Alan Sugar, the Tottenham chairman. He said to me, ‘Please come to Tottenham, please come to Tottenham.’
“But I was literally in the taxi to take the flight to Marseille. If this call had arrived one day earlier, I am sure I would have been in London and signed for Tottenham.
“It is a shame because I liked the Tottenham team. They had Teddy Sheringham, a quality player, and they had Sol Campbell behind.
“They or Liverpool would have been the same for me.”
Have something to tell us about this article?