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“If this call had arrived one day earlier”: Former Italian star lifts the lid on failed Tottenham move

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Fabrizio Ravanelli reveals he held talks with Spurs while at Middlesbrough

According to the Athletic (h/t Teesside Live), Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli has revealed that he was in talks with Tottenham Hotspur while he was looking to leave Middlesbrough.

This occurred at the end of the 1996-1997 season. He had enjoyed a successful spell with Boro and led the team to two cup finals, both of which they lost.

In spite of his success, he could not help his side stave off relegation. His first stint in England would last just a season, with him moving on to Marseille the following summer.

Fabrizio Ravanelli
Fabrizio Ravanelli won the Champions League with Juventus (Image Credit: Plant Football)

It could have been so different though, as he was in talks with two Premier League sides, Liverpool and Tottenham.

He revealed that his dream move was Manchester United, while Liverpool remained a real possibility. Ravanelli had verbally agreed to join Liverpool, but the deal did not happen for some reason.

He could have been on his way to White Hart Lane had then Spurs chairman Alan Sugar called him up 24 hours earlier. Ravanelli was on his way to Marseille when the call came and has admitted that had it been earlier, he would have joined Tottenham.

Fabrizio Ravanelli
Fabrizio Ravanelli joined Marseille that summer

An inspired signing

The 1997-98 season almost saw Tottenham relegated before Jurgen Klinsmann returned to save us from the drop before retiring. We scored just 44 goals in the league that season and a clinical striker like Ravenelli would have been a welcome addition.

“If this call had arrived one day earlier, I am sure I would have been in London and signed for Tottenham.”

Ravenelli has revealed that he was a fan of both Teddy Sheringham and Sol Campbell at Spurs. Had he made the move, he would have got to play with the latter as Sheringham moved to Manchester United that summer.

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The Italian did eventually return to English shores in 2001. He spent two seasons at Derby County and made 50 appearances, scoring 15 goals.

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