David Ginola in a tribute to the late Dutchman said Johan Cruyff tried signing him. Ginola ended up in Newcastle even though he was approached by Johan Cruyff and Sir Bobby Robson to sign for Barcelona. The winger played for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in face off against the Spanish giant in the 1994/1995 season. He was approached after the two-legged European as he impressed then Barcelona manager, Johan Cruyff. The Dutch legend tried the subsequent season to sign David Ginola but David couldn’t move to Nou Camp as the Catalan giant had too many foreign players.
Since the move couldn’t happen, David Ginola moved to Newcastle after being approached by the Magpies boss, Kevin Keegan.
David Ginola told TalkSport: ‘The last year I spent in Paris we played Barcelona in the qualifying round of the Champions and I played against (Albert) Ferrer, who (later) played for Chelsea, and I was fantastic (in) both games. We had a golf game and he (Cruyff) said: ‘I will sign you; you are my priority for next season.’ So I said, ‘OK’, and then we played this golf tournament and had a meeting in his house in Barcelona.’
David explained the extent the Late Barcelona boss went to sign him.
‘He said that the problem is because it wasn’t Bosman rules that they already had six foreigners in the team (at Barcelona) – and he said I need to get rid of two before I can ask the chairmen to sign you. Back in July (1995), right after that, they couldn’t find clubs for (Hristo) Stoichkov and (Gheorghe) Hagi. He (Cruyff) called me on July 14, how strange is that – it’s Independence Day in France. And he said: ‘Well David, I couldn’t get rid of the two players. I can’t sign you.’ So I had a phone call from Keegan and Terry McDermott after and so I signed at Newcastle.’
Even when Bobby Robson took over at Barcelona, he tried again but Keegan blocked the move.
Keegan called me and he said: ‘David, I can’t let you go’.
‘I said: ‘Why?’ To which he said: ‘I let Andy Cole leave last season and I was already murdered by the fans, and if I let you go this season it’s going to be a problem for me’.
‘So I had twice the chance to sign for Barca, and it didn’t happen,’ Ginola added.