Struggling for regular game time at White Hart Lane following the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov, Mido was linked with a number of other Premier League clubs in the 2006 summer transfer window.
The ex-Roma man took a trip to visit the Black Cats training ground on the invitation of Keane, but says he knew pretty soon it would ‘never work’ between him and the Irish manager.
He ultimately joined Middlesbrough instead, and Mido has explained why he chose not to become a Sunderland player.
“It was never going to work with me and Roy Keane,” the former Egypt international said on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“He took me for lunch. He wanted to convince me to sign for Sunderland just before I joined Middlesbrough. I was at Tottenham.
“My agent Mino Raiola said, ‘Mido, Roy Keane wants to have lunch with you and show you the training ground’.
“So I went to Newcastle airport, he came to pick me up in his Range Rover, we went to Sunderland and he took me to lunch to Pizza Express.
“I was very surprised that he didn’t talk to me much.
“Normally you get a player for lunch, you try to talk to him and try to convince him to sign for your club, but he didn’t talk much, he was just very quiet.