When Roy Keane, Quinn & Co. arrived in Sunderland, every single Irish or Manchester United footballer was linked to Sunderland. Rumours circled that up to 1,000 Irish fans were crossing the divide to watch 'Sundireland', while an incredible array of Red Devil stars were touted with switches to Wearside.
Paul Scholes had been linked with Sunderland as his career began to wind down, Diego Forlan was reportedly on the verge of a move, and perhaps most staggeringly was the news that Ruud Van Nistelrooy was a potential target during the Keane days.
Wild claims that the Dutch master has discussed a move with Keane over a game of tennis spread through the fanbase like wildfire but nothing ever materialised as Sunderland went on to sign the likes of John O'Shea, Wes Brown, and Phil Bardsley instead over the coming years.
What Culture contributor. NCTJ accredited Sports Journalist. Regret-filled Sunderland AFC season ticket holder. Optimism-filled NFL fan. Lover of all things Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead & more.