David Ginola explains just how close he came to joining Celtic 21 years ago

David Ginola

The Frenchman ended up signing for Newcastle United instead.

In 1995 Newcastle United completed a move to bring in French international David Ginola from Paris Saint-Germain.

The deal saw Ginola arrive at a time when Kevin Keegan was attempting to turn Newcastle United into title contenders and the French star certainly helped them in their pursuit.

But it could have been so different – as Ginola recalled on talkSPORT today (22/04/16). He told the tale of how he nearly became a Celtic player in 1995 instead.

Ginola, who went on to win a PFA Player of the Year award with Tottenham Hotspur, said this of his near move to Celtic Park:

“It wasn’t a question of money. The money was probably the same. We were talking about playing in the Scottish Premier League or playing in the Premier League. It was as simple as that.

“I had the pen in my hands, ready to sign. I just said ‘I need to think about it’.

“I just run away. I was there with Fergus McCann, Tommy Burns was there, they showed me the city.

“I did not know much about Glasgow.

“We played with Newcastle at Celtic, we play a friendly in pre-season and it was an amazing atmosphere. Fantastic.”

A move to Celtic would have been massive at the time but once again, when it came down to a choice, the lure of playing in the Premier League proved too strong.

In the 20 years since this incident the gulf between English and Scottish football has become vast.

Celtic were battling with Premier League sides for one of Europe’s most coveted players two decades ago. Now they would struggle to beat a mid-table Championship side to the signing of a player.

The days of trying to sign the likes of a Ginola seem to be gone for Celtic.

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