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Sports News of Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Source: Punch

I turned down Juve’s illegal approach in 2002 – Udeze

Former Super Eagles defender, Ifeanyi Udeze, has revealed that he turned down a move to Italian giants Juventus in 2002 because of their ‘illegal approach’, The Punch reports.

Udeze, who was capped 32 times by Nigeria, said a representative from the Turin-based club and a translator approached him to sign a deal with the Old Lady after Nigeria’s international friendly against Paraguay at Loftus Road Stadium in London in 2002.

The game ended 1-1 after Austin Okocha earned a share of the spoils for the Eagles seven minutes from time after Carlos Gamarra had opened the scoring for the South Americans in the 24th minute.

“Two representatives of Juventus approached me in London after Nigeria’s friendly game against Paraguay,” Udeze, who featured for 83 minutes in the encounter, told The Punch.

“We discussed all through the night about me joining Juventus and immediately a private jet was waiting to take me to Italy if I agreed.

“I spoke with the former (Juve) president, who also gave me lots of assurances, but I had a three-year contract with PAOK Salonica and I felt it was not the right approach, as my club was unaware of the negotiations at that time.

“They even told me to overlook my agent, that they (Juventus) were going to get me a new agent who was going to complete the deal, but it was an illegal approach, so I turned it down.”

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