According to Tony Jimenez, current Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour was interested in buying Newcastle United several years ago – and Mike Ashley could’ve done a deal ‘if he had played his cards right’.
Considering what has gone on at Man City since Middle Eastern money has arrived at their club, it’s probably the understatement of the century to say this is unbearable to hear – especially when we’re still stuck with Mike Ashley all these years later.
The stunning revelation comes from his recent interview with The Times, seeing him respond to several of Kevin Keegan’s claims from his new book ‘My Life in Football’.
Not only does he claim that Sheikh Mansour was keen to buy the club, he reveals that he was brought in to secure a takeover due to his ‘relationships in the Middle East’ – stating that his role in ‘player recruitment’ was all a cover story:
“Mike wanted me to sell the club on the basis of my relationships in the Middle East, so I came in under the cover story of working in player recruitment.”
“If he had played his cards right Mike could have sold Newcastle to Abu Dhabi before they bought Manchester City.”
This at least explains why Jimenez was so useless when it came to ‘player recruitment’, showing just why Keegan must’ve wondered what on earth he was working with when his true role was in fact to secure a takeover.
When you look at where Man City are now following their big money takeover, it really does make you wonder just what might have been had Ashley struck a deal with Sheikh Mansour.
Given our current predicament, it’s probably best not to dwell on it, mind.