'Every bar in Ayia Napa, I was waiting for Kenny Dalglish to walk in' - Roy Keane on the summer he chose Man United
Roy Keane has revealed he was running scared from Kenny Dalglish in the bars of Ayia Napa in Cyprus during the summer of 1993.
A video has emerged of Keane speaking to an audience in Armagh, as he opens up on the transfer that would define his career, as he eventually sealed a £3.75m move from Nottingham Forest to Manchester United.
Yet his story could have taken a different path if Keane had succumbed to the pressure being applied by Dalglish to sign for his Blackburn team, with the Irishman recalling the tale with a familiar glint in his eye.
“I got permission to go to Blackburn and they had offered £4m,” Keane recalled. “I met Kenny Dalglish, agreed a contract. Decent money, I was on about £250,000-a-year at Forest and Blackburn offered me £400,000, so it was a decent little pay rise. I agreed a deal on a Friday night and we shook hands.”
Keane went back home to Cork ‘on the piss’ after agreeing to join Blackburn and it was then that he received a call from United manager Alex Ferguson asking him to speak to him about a move to United.
“I met Brian Kidd (United’s assistant manager) and Alex Ferguson, had a game of snooker with them, and they gave me the small talk about how great I was…and I believed them,” he added.
“The problem was they had not agreed a fee with Forest. They offered me £300,000-a-year, which was not a massive rise considering it was going to be a transfer record.
“Kenny Dalglish found out I had agreed to go to United and he was fuming, he was effing and blinding.
“I said listen, I’m going on holiday next week with a few lads….doing a bit of sightseeing!
“He said, I’m going to come to Ayia Napa, I’m going to find ya. So every bar in Ayia Napa, I was waiting for Kenny Dalglish to walk in.”
So it seems there is something that frightens Roy Keane after all!