In the summer of 2006 the Denmark international’s time at the Bernabeu was up and he was told to find another club.
Then manager Glenn Roeder, fresh from getting United back into Europe, was keen to sign the tough-tackling midfielder.
But the player opted for a move north of the border, instead of a stint on Tyneside.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, Gravesen said: “Newcastle was very close. It was either them or Celtic. My time at Celtic was great – I loved every minute of it.
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“Fabio Capello was appointed (at Real Madrid) and was honest enough to tell me straight away – ‘listen, I won’t use you here. I want to use a different player in your position.
“I always liked it when people said that to my face.”