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Newcastle had a nightmare with missed Wayne Rooney transfer

Newcastle United may not have won a major honour since their FA Cup triumph in 1955, but they are still regarded as one of the great English clubs.

With an immense fanbase and a stellar stadium to house them, they have gone through some tumultuous periods during their history. 

Whilst now there finally seems a set path to success since PIF’s takeover and Eddie Howe’s appointment as manager, things were not so easy back in previous times.

They could have certainly guaranteed some success had they been more boisterous in the transfer market, particularly in 2004 when they missed out on a golden opportunity to sign one Wayne Rooney.

Just before Manchester United swooped in and he became a legend at Old Trafford, the now 36-year-old revealed in 2020: “(Manchester) United actually wanted to wait a year, until the following year, but then Newcastle came into talks with Everton and with myself. 

“I’d gone too far then. I couldn’t wait another year, I couldn’t stay another year at Everton, so I was prepared to go to Newcastle for that year.”

Would Newcastle be as successful as Manchester United had they signed Rooney?





Using that to offer an ultimatum to the Red Devils, the Manchester club caved and paid the £27m fee that summer. 

The fact that Rooney was so close to a move to Tyneside leaves an element of what might have been, and he certainly stands out as one that got away for Newcastle, especially considering how his career panned out.

At the time of this supposed deal, the Magpies had just finished fifth and were hoping to break into the Champions League places. Had they secured the signing of Rooney, they soon could have been aiming even higher.

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Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Joelinton

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The 36-year-old would go on to net 253 goals for the Red Devils, with a further 146 assists. He became not only the club’s record goalscorer but also England’s on his way to winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

To think now that, with a few smart additions alongside Rooney, it could have been Newcastle challenging for all these trophies instead…

His contribution to the club was one which Sir Alex Ferguson lauded, as he labelled the striker “truly world class” after leading them to yet another final in 2010.

The Toon Army will forever have nightmares over this missed transfer, which could have completely changed the landscape of both of these clubs.