It ended Mike Ashley’s 14-year reign on Tyneside and the Sports Direct supremo’s exit from St. James’ Park seemingly pleased a contingent of the fanbase.
He endured his fair share of shockers and gaffes in the market in his time at the club. In one of his first windows as the owner, Ashley sanctioned the sale of midfielder James Milner to Aston Villa in the summer of 2008.
Former Magpies assistant Terry McDermott once revealed that the Englishman left for a fee of £15m because it was believed that German ace Bastian Schweinsteiger would come in to replace him.
Speaking on the 5times podcast, the former Toon coach said: “We were actually at the club when we sold him, myself and Kevin Keegan.
“We sold him for £15m. The story goes – and this is a true story – we didn’t want him to leave but we needed to get other players in because we’d had a bid of £15m.
“The idea of accepting the bid of £15m for Milner, which was a lot of money then, and then we’re looking to get Schweinsteiger it’s a no-brainer. But after he’s signed for Villa – the day after – we’re trying to sign Schweinsteiger and the answer was: ‘Absolutely no chance, it will cost you £50m if you want to buy Schweinsteiger’.”
However, Ashley seemingly believed that he would be able to secure his signature to replace Milner for Keegan and McDermott. Instead, the asking price ended up being far more than Newcastle were willing to pay.
It is unclear exactly what went down in negotiations but the club going in for Schweinsteiger after cashing in on one of their own midfielders for £15m could have played a role in Bayern coming back with a £50m valuation.
The German giants knew that Newcastle needed a replacement and that they had just received a hefty sum of money from Villa, which allowed them to set their stall out.
Whereas, Ashley may have been able to negotiate a better deal with Bayern if he had gone in for the gem prior to the sale of Milner becoming official.
Schweinsteiger went on to play 500 matches for the Bundesliga side in all competitions, winning the Champions League, and was capped 121 times by Germany, whilst also enjoying a stint in the Premier League with Manchester United towards the end of his career.
Therefore, Ashley dropped a shocker for Newcastle as he did not wrap up a deal for the Bayern hero prior to selling Milner and then refused to match the valuation set when he did go in for the midfielder.
The career that the former Red Devils man went on to have suggests that he would have been an incredible signing for the Magpies if they had managed to bring him in, which is why the farce around this failed move was a nightmare for the former Toon owner.