"We turned him down" – Former chairman claims Newcastle fan favourite wanted Sunderland move
By Danny Wright
Sir Bob Murray has made it public that former Newcastle fan favourite Steven Taylor once tried to force a move to fierce rivals Sunderland.
The ex-Black Cats chairman revealed that Taylor met for talks at the Stadium of Light as he looked to switch allegiances in the north east.
Taylor has regularly made his negative feelings towards Sunderland known and he has recently dubbed the city a “horrible place” to live.
That has spurred Murray to make the revelation, and hopes it will stop what he says are “immature and ignorant” remarks.
Mick McCarthy was the manager on Wearside at the time and the duo have now been reunited at Ipswich following 31-year-old’s move to Portman Road in January.
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Murray, 70, added that he rejected signing Taylor because he would not have offered anything extra to his current squad of players at the time.
“He was under contract with Newcastle, but we were told he wanted a move,” said Murray to the Sunderland Echo. “He had been in touch with Mick and although it was very unusual that I would meet with a player, in this instance Mick asked me if I would meet him.
“I came to the boardroom and sat with him and had a cup of tea.
“It’s the only time I had met with a player in those circumstances.
“But we turned him down.
“At the time, we felt that he was no better than what we already had and so we let him go.”
Taylor made 267 appearances in all competitions for the Tynesiders during his 13 years stay at the club.
He won the 2006 Intertoto Cup and 2010 Championship title with the Magpies before moving to the MLS to play for Portland Timbers in August 2016.
The former England Under-21 international will not have to face the Black Cats this season but he could play against Newcastle on April 17 when Rafa Benitez’s side make the long journey to Ipswich.
Since joining the East Anglia club, Taylor has made just two appearances since injuring his hamstring in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in February.
In other Newcastle news, Benitez has delivered a plea to supporters ahead of his side’s vital final fixtures.