Early Doors

Joe Kinnear ‘tried to sign player already at Newcastle’

Early Doors

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Tales of Joe Kinnear’s exploits are fast becoming legendary, but now Newcastle United’s director of football is in the headlines again after apparently trying to sign a player who the club already owned.

The incredible claim comes from the Sunday People, who detail Kinnear’s approach for midfielder Shane Ferguson after he impressed in a League Cup game for Birmingham City against Swansea City in September.

The only problem was that Ferguson, 22, was only on loan at Birmingham from …. Newcastle!

The Sunday People says Kinnear approached Birmingham officials to register his interest in the player, only to be politely told that in fact his club owned him anyway.

It seems like a ludicrous tale, and there are some suggestions that in fact Kinnear merely asked Birmingham manager Lee Clark who Ferguson was, rather than trying to sign him.

However, the Sunday People quotes a Birmingham source as saying: “Ferguson had a particularly good game that night and Joe Kinnear told one of our officials he was interested in signing him.

“At first our guy thought he was joking but then he realised Kinnear did not know Ferguson was already a Newcastle player.”

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If the tale does prove to be true, it would not be the first time Kinnear has become confused about a Newcastle employee.

During his previous spell as manager of the club in 2009, Kinnear referred to Charles N’Zogbia as ‘Charles Insomnia’ – leading the French winger to say he would “never play for him again."

This summer, after returning to Newcastle, Kinnear got his wires crossed once again, calling Yohan Cabaye ‘Yohan Kebab’ in a now infamous radio interview.

He also referred to managing director Derek Llambias as ‘Lambezi’, Hatem Ben Arfa as ‘Ben Afra’ and Sammy Ameobi as ‘Amamobi’.

The latter gaffe drew a withering response from the Newcastle striker.

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