Nobby Solano recalls turning down Rafa Benitez and Liverpool in favour of Newcastle United
Nobby Solano has been reliving his dramatic deadline day signing for Newcastle United.
This is not the 1998 arrival from Boca Juniors.
Instead, the second time around in 2005, as a 30 year old Nobby Solano returned ‘home’ to Tyneside – an adopted Geordie and real NUFC cult hero.
The Peruvian winger had reluctantly left Newcastle for Aston Villa in January 2004 and he was keen to head back just 18 months later when given the chance in August 2005.
Alan Shearer was one of those who is credited with helping the Nobby Solano return to happen, the NUFC number nine legend having benefited from so many assists provided by the Peruvian maestro.
Looking back on that return to Newcastle United 16 years ago, Nobby Solano revealed that in the process he knocked back the possibility of joining up with Rafa Benitez at Liverpool.
Nobby Solano talking to BBC Sport:
“I had a phone call from one of the agents of Rafa Benitez but I’d already given my word to Newcastle.
“I spoke to a few of the lads and I was happy to come back to the club.
“With the opportunity to move to Liverpool, it was quite a crazy day.
“It was exciting and stressful.
“First of all, I had to drive four hours from Birmingham to Newcastle. I was driving like crazy on the motorway!
“I arrived at the club, went for my medical, did the paperwork and everything like that. I remember I finished at like 11 o’clock at night. It was a tough day, but I was over the moon.
“If Liverpool were talking to me a few days or weeks earlier I might have thought about it, but when it happened on the same day, I wasn’t sure.
“Nobody can read the future. Nobody knows what’s going to happen.
“I followed my feelings, which were to go back to Newcastle at that time, because I love the club and I love the fans.”
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