Spurs man reveals he nearly joined Sunderland, Newcastle and Forest

Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Brad Friedel told talkSPORT about how his first efforts to move to England fell through after potential moves to Nottingham Forest, Sunderland and Newcastle United collapsed due to work permit issues over 21 years ago.

Nottingham Forest fans' learned on Monday night, just how close they were to signing one of the truly most under-rated goalkeepers in Premier League history after a failed work-permit in 1992 stopped the American moving to the City Ground.

When asked about training with Nottingham Forest legend Stuart Pearce, the former US international told TalkSPORT: 'After the '92 Olympics, Ronnie Fenton was there and I signed a contract with Forest. I came in and went on a trial, then signed the contract and waited for the work permit. It never came through.'

'So I went back to the States, tried again with Newcastle, tried again with Sunderland and then finally Liverpool were able to get the work permit.

'It's funny how the big clubs are able to get the work permits through.'

Newcastle United and Sunderland were also stung by the Premier League's transfer policy in their attempts to sign, the now 42-year-old who still continues to play at the very top level.

For all three clubs its a case of what might have been. However, Newcastle did end up with Shay Given so they will undoubtedly be the least disappointed out of the three sides.

After over 400 Premier League appearances and nearly 600 hundred matches in all competitions for English sides, he has been an ambassador for the league. 

He has always been considered to be one of the most under-rated goalkeepers to play at the top-level in England and despite his incredible number of appearances, he has never, in many fans' eyes, got the appreciation he should have done.

The fact he still remains a Premier League footballer, despite being in the twilight of his career, speaks volumes.

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