Kenny Dalglish doesn’t hold any grudges against Roy Keane for going back on his word and signing for Manchester United rather than Blackburn.
At the time, Blackburn Rovers were the wealthier club and then-manager Kenny Dalglish shook hands with Roy Keane on an agreement to take the Irish midfielder from relegated Nottingham Forest.
Two days later, Alex Ferguson was on the phone with Keane and any thoughts of moving to Ewood Park were dropped into the deep well of footballing ‘what-ifs’.
Dalglish, who reacted furiously when Keane told him of his change of heart, has no lingering ill will towards the man who went on to become Manchester United’s greatest-ever captain.
“We thought Roy was going to come,” Dalglish recently told Off The Ball.
“We had had two or three meetings with him and everything seemed OK. But look, when a Manchester United or Liverpool come in, you cannot blame a player for wanting to go.
“I would have done the same thing as him. It was unfortunate for us at Blackburn, but that was Roy’s decision and to this day I wouldn’t argue with him about it.”
Had Keane moved to Blackburn, Dalglish would have had arguably the best midfielder and best striker in the Premier League in his squad.
Alan Shearer was scoring goals for fun, having reportedly rejected United for Blackburn in a reverse of Keane’s move, and a side with both Shearer and Keane would likely have won more than the club’s solitary Premier League trophy in 1995.
Keane and Shearer famously clashed on the pitch a number of years later, when the latter was playing for Newcastle, but Dalglish thinks the pair would have worked well with one another if Blackburn had managed to sign the Corkman.
“I don’t think there would have been any problem,” Dalglish added.
“Football is football, isn’t it. That wouldn’t have been the first time there was a few big egos in there.
“No team has been successful without them.
“For Roy Keane and Alan Shearer to be together, it would have been a fantastic duo.”