Shepherd admits he made the attempt after Kevin Keegan quit in 1997.
He told the Newcastle Chronicle: "When Keegan left, we tried to get Ferguson as his replacement. We had talks with his advisors at the time.
"We were ambitious, we tried to get him - at least we tried.
"At one time we thought we might get him because he wasn't happy with Man U. It wasn't to be though. We soon realised there was no way he was going to come to Newcastle."
Instead, the Magpies hired Kenny Dalglish to take over.
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