Neil Warnock has revealed that Sheffield United could have signed Didier Drogba.
Drogba has announced his retirement from football and the current Cardiff City manager was paying tribute to the striker.
“I have a scout in France – well a scout, a friend really – called Laurent D’Jaffo,” Warnock said in his pre-match press conference.
“When I was at Sheffield United he said, ‘I’ve got a good lad gaffer, just your type’. He knows what kind I’m looking for. He said, ‘he’s aggressive, big, he’s no slouch and he’ll score goals. He’s in the second division in France.’
“I said, ‘Laurent, I can’t sign anyone from the second division in France.’ He says, ‘gaffer, I’m telling you he’s a good player.’
“‘How much do they want? Hundred grand.’ I said, ‘I can’t be spending hundred grand, chairman will go bloody daft here.
“When he went for I don’t know how many million, he text me saying, ‘he’s playing at Chelsea boss.’ So the one that got away eh?”
Drogba a Blade?
Drogba of course went onto become a legend in English football at Chelsea. During nine seasons at the club the Ivorian won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and the Champions League.
Drogba left Stamford Bridge in 2015 after a one year return to West London with 164 goals for the Blues. To many he is the greatest striker they have ever had.
Yet it could have all been so different had Warnock sanctioned the £100,000 transfer fee; which in hindsight seems like an absolute steal.
Exactly when this occurred is unknown, although it must have been between 1999 and 2002. During that time Drogba was played for Le Mans in Ligue 2, while Warnock became Blades boss in 1999.
The forward later joined Guingamp and Marseille before being signed by Chelsea in 2004 for £24m (BBC).