Jermaine Pennant: Juande Ramos spoiled Real Madrid move
"The club wanted to sign me but the coach didn't". Madrid ended up bringing in Julien Faubert on loan, who only played two games.
Jermaine Pennant has told how he was on the cusp of making a winter transfer window switch from Liverpool to Real Madrid only for the move to fall through because of the Spanish club's coach at the time, Juande Ramos.
Juande not convinced
"Real Madrid wanted to sign me when [ex-Spurs manager] Juande Ramos, was in charge there. The board wanted to do the deal as they wanted a right-winger. On transfer deadline day I got a call from my agent, saying, ‘You could be going to Madrid – keep your phone on.’ But the board had gone over the manager’s head, so he started to get upset, and to placate him they pulled the plug on the deal. The club wanted me; the manager didn’t.”, the former Arsenal, Birmingham, Liverpool and Zaragoza player told FourFourTwo magazine.
With Pennant discarded, Madrid brought in Julien Faubert on loan from West Ham just two days before the January 2009 transfer window closed. The French winger only played two games before his loan deal a few months later while Pennant was offloaded to Portsmouth.
Zaragoza "not very multicultural" - Pennant
That summer, Pennant did end up coming to Spain to join Zaragoza.But he didn't adapt to life in LaLiga: "The football was good; I loved how technical all the teams were, even the ones down at the bottom. The weather was nice. The pitches were immaculate. But Zaragoza was a bit difficult to live in as it was traditional Spain – it wasn’t very multicultural. On days off, I would go to Madrid or Barcelona for a good time. Once, I went to Barcelona for a night out and then got the train back on the morning of training, but I felt so bad that I couldn’t go in, so I told them I wasn’t well. The club doctor came to my house to check on me, but I didn’t answer the door. I think they knew!”