It’s transfer season which means clubs are frantically competing for the signatures of some of the game’s biggest names. There is a constant struggle to get these deals over the line and seal the signature of top players. Here are 8 of the greatest transfers that almost happened…
1) Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Arsenal
Yes, most know this story but it is just amazing. At 16 Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on Arsene Wenger’s radar and was even pictured with what would’ve been his new teams kit! Only for the deal to fall through when Wenger asked the Swede to head to Arsenal on trial so he could see him in action… only for Zlatan to reply “I do not do auditions”. Ballsy… still he has a point.
2) Falcao to Aston Villa
Yeah this one would really hurt… Martin O’Niell, We love Heskey as much as the next guy but seriously?! After being offered a £9m deal for Falcao, O’Niell was unsure on whether Radamel was worth the price. In the end he decided that with Heskey up top… his firepower was fine thank you very much…
3) Michael Essien to Burnley
At the age of 17 Essien was on the verge of joining Burnley, on a free transfer! The Ghanaian midfielder who later moved to Chelsea for £26m was offered to The Clarets as a teenager only for the deal to fall through because of a Burnley club policy to not pay youngsters more than £60 per week!
4) Robert Lewandowski to Blackburn
It’s not often that volcanoes stop football transfers… but in 2010 icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull caused the dreaded ash cloud that will haunt Sam Allardyce forever. It was this and this alone which scuppered Bayern’s star striker Lewandowski joining Blackburn instead of Dortmund. Ouch.
5) Steven Gerrard to Chelsea
Everyone knows this one. After winning the Champions League it seemed as though Liverpool were going to lose their beloved Steven Gerrard to Chelsea for a record £36m. After rejecting a bid from the West London club, Gerrard handed in a transfer request to try and force a move. It looked like the midfielder was on his way, until he had a complete change of heart
6) Yaya Toure to Arsenal
Ever since Vieira, Arsenal have been crying out for that power midfielder in the mould of Yaya Toure and back in 2003 they almost had him. Toure had a trial as a 20 year old with the Gunners as Wenger looked to bolster his options in the middle of the park. Arsene went on to claim that, the now world class midfielder, was ‘completely average’ while with the North London club on trial.
Yes seriously, If they were able to stump up the additional costs on top of the £200,000 deal… Harry Haslam would have had a 17 year old Diego Maradona to deploy in 1978. Instead they got relegated and Maradona’s sudden rise to the top began…
8) Zinedine Zidane to Blackburn
Let’s set the scene… it’s 1995 and manager Kenny Dalglish has highlighted french midfielder Zinedine Zidane as a potential target to bolster his midfield. Blackburn chairman Jack Walker looked at Dalglish bemused stating “Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?”. He’s got a point…