Blackburn keeper Friedel: I almost joined Newcastle

Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel has revealed how he almost signed for Kevin Keegan and Newcastle United 14 years ago.

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The big American nearly became part of the Keegan revolution, during the former England boss's magical first spell on Tyneside in the mid-1990s.

But, despite spending three months with the Magpies, Friedel was forced to return to America because of problems over a work permit.

Reflecting on his time under Keegan's wing, Friedel said: "Back in 1994, I did sign a contract with Newcastle but I got denied on the work permit.

"I spent around three months with the club whilst we lodged the appeal. Kevin Keegan was the manager back then and everyone was buzzing down there.

"If you speak to most Newcastle fans, they will tell you it was a very exciting time for the club.

"Kevin is an infectious guy - the type of person players want to play for.

"I know he's only been back a short time but he will be an asset to the club, because of his energy and the way he motivates people.

"Given time, he will eventually come good but, hopefully, not this weekend!"

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