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How Kevin Doyle's 2010 Form Almost Earned Him A Move To Juventus

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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We love a romantic Irish football transfer here at Balls.ie, but unfortunately more often than not we're reporting on what might have been rather than what was in terms of some of the more adventurous deals that were, at least at one stage, a goer.

Recently we were gutted to learn how close Gary Breen came to joining Inter Milan back in 2002, because we love seeing Irish players give it a lash on the rare occasion that they do move to a league outside of England and Scotland.

As it turns out, there was a time when we could have witnessed Kevin Doyle play up front for Juventus alongside Alessandro Del Piero.

We were aware of the link, as the Sunday World broke the story back in 2011 [via ESPN] and it obviously caught our attention, but we always wondered just how much there was to it.

Juventus and Arsenal are set to go head to head in a surprise fight to sign Wolves striker Kevin Doyle, according to a report in Ireland's Sunday World newspaper.

"There is definite interest in Kevin from Arsenal and Juventus," revealed a source close to the deal. "Talks are planned with Wolves over a new contract, but a move is certainly possible this summer."

"Kevin loves playing for Wolves and especially enjoys working with Mick McCarthy, but it would be impossible to turn down the chance to play for clubs like Juventus and Arsenal."

It sounds very much like the typical tenuous link to get a reaction from Irish fans, but it turns out there was substance to it.

We got in touch with Kevin Doyle himself to set the record straight, and he revealed that Mick McCarthy, his Wolves boss at the time, had pulled him aside to tell him that some big clubs were indeed sniffing around.


While Mick was having none of it anyway, an official bid never came in, and Doyle stayed in Wolverhampton and played up front with Steven Fletcher as opposed to one of the greatest Italian strikers of all time.


At the time, I think around the summer of 2011, I'd been made aware of interest from a few "big" clubs.

I had come off of a decent year with Ireland and a good one in my first season at Wolves, I vaguely remember having a chat with Mick [McCarthy] at the time and him telling me there had been no official bids, and that I wouldnt be going anywhere if there was as I was only one year into a long contract.

So how did he land on Juve's radar?


As Doyle said, he'd had a good season in the Premier League, and had established himself as capable of playing at the top level which explains why Arsenal had a look, but what caught the eye of the Turin giants were his performances in an Ireland shirt.

Ireland had faced Italy twice in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, two closely contested games ending in draws and in which Doyle worked tirelessly to provide an outlet for his team.

It was reported that Giovanni Trapattoni gave a ringing endorsement of Doyle when asked by the club he managed for 13 years in two spells, so they clearly were considering making a move.


You'd have to imagine that Mick would have stepped aside had an official bid come in, but alas Juventus opted to sign Mirko Vucinic, Alessandro Matri, Marco Borriello, and Fabio Quagliarella in the same window that summer.

The Old Lady won the league that season to end their drought after the match-fixing scandal, and they haven't stopped winning the title since. Just to think, it they moved for Doyle instead of one of the above, the Wexford man could be sitting in Colorado with a few Scudetti in his back pocket. Thankfully he's done alright for himself.

SEE ALSO: Kevin Doyle Bagged A Tidy Goal & Assist In 'MVP' Performance Vs Houston


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