AC Milan was very close to signing midfielder Stephen Appiah from Udinese back in the summer of 2000, a report has detailed.
The former captain was handed a gold watch by the Rossoneri engraved with “For you, the doors will always be open” after a move to bring him to the San Siro from Udinese fell through.
Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed that Appiah was very close to moving to Milan after three positive seasons at Udinese, which meant that in the summer of 2000 he had ended up in the sight of a number of top clubs.
At the time, Milan was also keen because Zvonimir Boban was torn between retiring and playing one last season with the Rossoneri. Even though they were different players, the issue was a numerical one and the management thought Appiah was a player with great potential.
Adriano Galliani and Ariedo Braida closed the agreement with Udinese, and the midfielder signed a contract in Rome meaning everything was completed for him to move north.
However, Boban – after weeks of physical problems and reflections – returned to the field on August 15, 2000, against Lugano, and decided to continue playing.
Alberto Zaccheroni’s side was numerically complete in midfield with Boban back, meaning signing Appiah would have generated a glut in the department and Braida had to call the player to inform him that Milan would not be going through with the deal.
There was a signed contract and therefore the deal should have materialized, but after a gentlemen’s agreement, the contract was torn up. Milan appreciated the player’s understanding and invited the player to Milan, giving him a gold watch engraved with the following inscription: “For you, the doors will always be open.”
He did not stay with Udinese and instead moved to Parma to continue his career.
Source: Ghana Soccernet