After being slated in his new book, Tony Jimenez has hit back at Kevin Keegan – claiming he ‘lost the plot’ whenever he was questioned, turned down the chance to sign the likes of Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa and said Andy Carroll would ‘never make it’.
The comes from Tony’s interview with The Times’ Matt Hughes, with the former ‘vice president of player recruitment’ clearly feeling obliged to defend himself after being torn apart in Keegan’s book ‘My Life in Football’.
It’s quite telling that Jimenez makes little effort to deny the claims Keegan has made about him, with him choosing to launch an attack towards the ex-NUFC boss instead – proving that what was said it most probably all true.
Here’s what he’s had to say, starting with his decision to turn down the likes of Jermaine Defoe and Daniel Sturridge; with him accused of saying the ex-City striker wasn’t even good enough for League One at on stage:
“The minute you questioned him he lost the plot.
“During that window we offered him the players that we were working on when we thought Harry Redknapp was coming as manager — Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Lassana Diarra — and he said none of them were good enough. The other player we were really keen on was Daniel Sturridge. He said he’d had him as a kid at Man City and that he wasn’t good enough for League One.
Jimenez then moved on to the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa and Karim Benzema, claiming Keegan turned down the chance to sign both – with him having the likes of Ronaldinho, Beckham, Lampard and Kaka on his wanted list instead:
“He didn’t want Hatem Ben Arfa or Karim Benzema either. We asked Kevin for a list of players for every position, bearing in mind he had £25 million to spend. Our list included Benzema and Ben Arfa who were young players at Lyons, as well as Samir Nasri.
“Kevin took one look and called them all chancers. His list was David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Ronaldinho, Kaka among others. We added their transfer value up and it was £399 million, plus £100 million in wages.
Finally, Tony recalled the time he went ‘ballistic’ over Michael Owens contract offer – also claiming that he said a young Andy Carroll would ‘never make it’ at professional level, with him allegedly keen to sell him for just £300,000:
“Kevin wanted to give him [Owen] a new five-year deal on £140,000 a week.
“We made a counter offer of £80,000 which would reach £120,000 if he played 65 minutes per game. Keegan went ballistic.
“He also went mad when we gave a new contract to Carroll, whom he said would never make it as a professional. He said £300,000 was a fantastic price. We couldn’t trust his judgment.”
So, we’ve got the views of Keegan – a man Ashley described as ‘the most honest man in football’ – and Toni Jiminez, one of Ashley’s crony’s whose only prior involvement in football was as a steward at Chelsea.
I know who I believe.
Read the article in full here:
Interview with Tony Jimenez, who claims Mike Ashley vetoed #Newcastle signing Modric due to the cost, that Kevin Keegan rejected he chance to sign Sturridge, Benzema, Ben Arfa and Lassana Diarra and wanted to sell Andy Carroll for £300,000. https://t.co/DuLoGL0Bjf
— Matt Hughes (@MattHughesTimes) September 26, 2018