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Player reveals “I agreed Real Madrid transfer… but ended up at Portsmouth!”

Jermaine Pennant has opened up on how he had once agreed a deal to join Real Madrid from Liverpool back in 2008, only to end up at Portsmouth.

After impressing at Birmingham City, he moved to Liverpool in 2016, but ended up falling of favour with manager Rafael Benitez so his ended up not getting a contract renewal.

The former England Under-21 international talked about how he was exciting it was that Real Madrid came in for him, only for the deal to fall through.

He said: “When I was at Liverpool, Real Madrid came to sign me in my last year of contract. Sky Andrew [Pennant’s agent] held negotiations with the president and he gave the green light to the agreement for about €4 million [£3m],” Pennant told El Periodico de Aragon.

“But Juande Ramos was not aware of that agreement. So when he found out he decided to knock the deal down. I went from Madrid to Portsmouth. A big change.”

Portsmouth signed him up on loan, played 13 matches, then got his move to Spain with Real Zaragoza that summer after becoming a free agent.

Pennant added: “I had offers in England but when Sky told me there was an option to go to Spain I said ‘wow, that’s very cool’. I thought my style of play would fit well in La Liga,” he added.

“I knew about Zaragoza. I had that memory of watching Nayim’s goal against Arsenal in the [1995 Cup Winners’] Cup Final on TV.

“It was one of those clubs that you remember at the time when you talk about Spanish football. So it was an option that I found very attractive.

“I was treated like a star. I had not experienced something like when I was introduced. It was an experience I did not imagine. In England you go out, they take a picture of you with the scarf and that’s it.

“There were a lot of people there in Zaragoza – maybe 2,000 people? It was a shock. Zaragoza fans were very excited about my arrival.”


Senior career
1998–1999 – Notts County – ? games (? goals)
1999–2005 – Arsenal – 12 games (3 goals)
2002 → Watford (loan) – 9 games (2 goals)
2002–2003 → Watford (loan) – 12 games (0 goals)
2003–2004 → Leeds United (loan) – 36 games (2 goals)
2005 → Birmingham City (loan) – 12 games (0 goals)
2005–2006 – Birmingham City – 38 games (2 goals)
2006–2009 – Liverpool – 55 games (3 goals)
2009 → Portsmouth (loan) – 13 games (0 goals)
2009–2010 – Real Zaragoza – 25 games (0 goals)
2010 → Stoke City (loan) – 13 games (0 goals)
2011–2014 – Stoke City – 52 games (4 goals)
2012–2013 → Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan) – 15 games (0 goals)
2014 – Pune City – 7 games (0 goals)
2015 – Wigan Athletic – 13 games (3 goals)
2016 – Tampines Rovers – 21 games (5 goals)
2017 – Bury – 7 games (0 goals)
2017 – Billericay Town – 13 games (1 goal)


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