Wigan Tried To Sign Parker ... As Well As Owen

Last updated : 15 October 2005 By Footy Mad - Editor
Latics chairman Dave Whelan made an audacious bid for Owen, who at the time was looking to quit Real Madrid. Wigan and Whelan were eventually trumped by Newcastle and a £17m offer. Jewell also attempted to sign another player who eventually joined Newcastle in Scott Parker, with the midfielder moving from Chelsea for £6m.
Paul Jewell: "It's the old thing, if you don't ask you don't get. It looked as if Michael wasn't going to get in at Real Madrid this season, and with it being a World Cup year, we were willing to give him football.
"Everything was done on the quiet, although it leaked out eventually, but it showed the ambition of the chairman and the club itself. I knew Michael wanted to go to Liverpool, everybody knew, even Newcastle fans, but the chairman put a deal to his agent, told him we were willing to pay £11m, and that was before Newcastle came in.
"The chairman was prepared to put an awful lot of money in, pay an awful lot in wages, and we also said if Michael wanted to go in January, or if a bigger club came in then, we were prepared to let him go for what we were willing to buy him for.
"It might have appeared pie in the sky, but I think it was closer than people think. If Newcastle hadn't have come in, then maybe he might have come here. I'm not sure, you would have to ask Michael. I think he was surprised and shocked, but I think he admired us for it."
"I don't think Scott and Michael have lost too much sleep over it. I fully understand top players being reluctant to come, so I had no problem with them choosing to go to Newcastle. I'm sure every top player in the world would choose an established club rather than one which is new to the Premiership and predicted to struggle."