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Transfers That Nearly Happened


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I thought this might be a fun little thread, so post more if ye think of them :)


Robert Lewandowski to Blackburn


This transfer was bound to happen in 2010 when Robert Lewandowski was still an unknown footballer. Blackburn Rovers was on the verge of completing the transfer before a volcano eruption in Iceland created a huge cloud and all flights was cancelled including that of Lewandowski to England. The transfer therefore broke down and Lewandowski was signed by Dortmund where he became a well known footballer.


Michael Essien to Burnley


In 1999, Burnley missed the opportunity to sign Essien for free. This could not happen as the club rule stipulates that a youth player cannot be on a wage higher than £60 a week. In 2005 Essien joined Chelsea from Lyon for a fee of £26M and became a super hit for the blues and went on to win the league with them.


Didier Drogba to Arsenal


Another great opportunity missed by the gunners, after Arsene Wenger revealed that the Ivorian superstar could have been bought by Arsenal for a fee of £100k but did not took the risk as the gunners boss was not sure whether the latter could cope with English football or not. He must have got some regret when Chelsea bought him for £24M from Lyon and the latter did superbly well in the Premier League and became a Chelsea legend.


Bale to Manchester United


In 2007, the red devils were very interested with former Southampton player, Gareth Bale. However they could not find an agreement over the fee for the player, the transfer therefore broke down. The latter was later transferred to Tottenham for a fee of £10M. He did superbly well for the spurs before he was sold for a fee of £100M to Real Madrid last summer.


Zinedine Zidane to Newcastle


The former Juventus striker was offered to the magpies in 1996 for a fee of £1.6M from Bordeaux. However they could not recognise his talent and turned down the opportunity to sign the one who was going to win the World Cup for France and become a reference in football. He was signed by Juventus where he proved his worth before moving to Real Madrid.


Christiano Ronaldo to Liverpool


Former reds boss Gerard Houiller was on the verge of signing the Portuguese in 2005 before the transfer fell through. The Liverpool board could not agree to the wage demand of the latter and did not go for the transfer. Ronaldo was then bought by reds rival, Manchester United and became a massive hit for the club before moving to Real Madrid.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Arsenal


A big miss for the gunners as Arsene Wenger offered a trial to the Swedish striker but the latter refused quoted that he doesn’t do trials. The skilful striker preferred then to sign for Ajax and did not take Wenger trial seriously. The latter later became one of the world best strikers and now currently plays for French side PSG.


Yaya Toure to Arsenal


One of the best midfielders in the Premier League right now, Yaya Toure could have been a gunner instead of a Citizen in 2003. The latter had a trial with the gunners and a deal around £1.3M was arranged but the transfer did not happened as the Ivorian midfield powerhouse could not get a work permit in order to play in England. A massive miss for gunner’s manager, Arsene Wenger.


Falcao to Aston Villa


The Colombian striker nearly joined the villains in January 2008, when they decided to bid for him when he was still playing for former club, River Plate. They made an initial bid of £5M which was rejected. They did not up their bid for the Colombian striker and the latter later became one of the world most expensive player and is currently playing for As Monaco.


Ronaldinho to Manchester United


This transfer was about to happen when the Brazilian legend was still playing for French club, PSG. At that time, the red devils sold David Beckham and wanted to replace the latter with the Brazilian. However things did not went as they wished as they were outbid by Spanish giant, Barcelona where the Brazilian became a massive hit for the club.
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Guest The B-Man

Ronaldo to Rangers


Brazilian superstar Ronaldo has confirmed for the first time that he was made a golden offer to sign for Rangers.


Ronaldo - crowned the greatest player in the world - was almost lured to Scotland last summer in a multi-million pound deal.


But the man who will be gunning for Craig Brown's national side in Paris in June opted to leave Barcelona for Inter Milan instead.


And, in an interview to be screened tonight on Scotsport Extra Time, the striker says: "Yes, it's true, I received an offer from Glasgow Rangers and we looked at it and decided that the best offer at that time was from Inter Milan.


"I said my apologies to all the other interested parties and said Inter was my choice."


The deal that would have shocked the football world was mastermined by chairman David Murray and Rangers kit-makers Nike.


The sportswear giants had planned to buy up a team of the world's top stars and put them on lucrative contracts.


Part of the package meant that players `owned' by Nike would be encouraged to sign for high profile clubs whose kits were also supplied by the American firm.


Rangers offered Ronaldo a two-year contract with a clause which would have allowed him to move on again after just 12 months.


But as Murray believed he was close to striking a deal, Nike's plan was put on the back burner and Ronaldo opted for a pounds 20m transfer to the glamorous Serie A club.


Ronaldo, though, has not enjoyed a dream start to his career in Italy and his form was publicly criticised last week by Inter's president Massimo Moratti.


That news was welcomed by Scots boss Brown who will attempt to snuff out Ronaldo's threat in the World Cup opener in Paris.


Ronaldo said: "I don't really know a lot about the Scottish football scene but I'm sure it's much like the English game and without a doubt it's going to be a tough game against them.


"Scotland has always been a tough side to beat. They're not going to be any different in France."

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Great thread King. I like tales like these, especially the ones which involved today's great players as youth prospects.


I can't think of too many off the top of my head, but I do remember back in 1997 when Wenger first came along and was signing young Frenchies left, right and centre, we were linked with both Zidane and Bixente Lizerazu, both at Bordeaux at the time. I think we wanted Zizou but had recently bought someone else and couldn't afford him (although we're talking £8m and not £30m or something), and I'm not sure why Lizerazu never joined us.


I also kinda remember Man Utd signing Cristiano Ronaldo almost by accident, or with a grudging need to spend some money. They had agreed to play a friendly against Sporting in Lisbon and they had gone to specifically scout Riccy Quaresma. The transfer was nailed on and I believe the fee was mooted to be approx £18m or something. I can't remember what the result of the friendly was but Quaresma has run riot, so much so that Barcelona waltzed in and signed him there and then.


Man Utd, understandably pee-oh'd, didn't want to waste a scouting trip, noticed that ol' Cristi-something whatshisface Ronaldingaling, some gangly spotty kid, had also had a decent game. Not wanting to come home empty handed they reluctantly paid £12.1m for him and returned home to apoplectic Utd fans wondering where Quaresma was :lol.



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Pretty much, all the United players and staff on the side line told Fergie he was awesome and could be the next big thing - Fergie didn't know as he wasn't even there, Carlos Quineroz was coaching the team on the trip to Portugal, Fergie was probably off buying wine instead.


United went through a period after the treble were they missed out on a few transfer targets, mainly Ronaldino and Robben. PSG at the time were going through some difficult times money wise and United tried to low ball them with an offer lower then PSG wanted, thinking they would have to accept because of their financial issues anyway. Barca got wind of it, came in, met the asking price and PSG froze United out and rushed the deal through with Barca.


Likewise with Robben, PSV had become a bit of a feeder club at this point having sold us Stam in 1998 and RVN in 2001 but when they went into business again, discussing Robben United wanted to pay around £5m, Chelsea got wind of it and came in with a £12m offer which PSV, who despite Phillips sponsorship operate on a tight budget, snapped it up like no ones business and Robben became a Chelsea player.


My favourite part of that was that the PSV board told United their offer was so low that all they could get from PSV for that offer was Robben's autograph on a shirt lol.


Finally in 1992 Manchester United were looking for a new striker as the goals had dried up for Hughes and McClair and new signing Dion Dublin had broken his leg. They went in with a £1m offer for David Hirst but Sheffield Wednesday told them to double their offer, they looked at and almost signed Mick Hartford from Luton for around £800k-£1m and if they had, then they would have missed out on the signing that made them league champions, the signing of Eric Cantona.


That signing was amazing in that Leeds, the current champions sold one of their top scorers and the man that helped Lee Chapman fire them to the title. Howard Wilkinson in fact had called Ferguson asking if he could sign Denis Irwin and was told no but whilst they were shooting the breeze it came out Eric had rubbed a few people up the wrong way (rumour has it Chapman's wife was interested in him if you catch my drift) and he was up for grabs and the rest is Manchester United and Premier League history.

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Guest John Hancock

I know Arsenal came very, very close to getting Drogba, Cech and Hazard. Speaking of Hazard, if Chelsea hadn't won the Champion's League the year that they did, he would have gone to which ever Manchester club offered him the highest wage. He's as good as said he only changed his mind and went to Chelsea because he wanted to play for the European Champions.


Chelsea ones I know for sure;


- For about two years in the mid-2000s, Chelsea tried to sign Steven Gerrard, and Gerrard himself as admitted he almost went along with it.

- If Bruce Rioch hadn't left Arsenal, Ian Wright had decided he was going to Chelsea.

- Drogba was the back-up plan to Ronaldinho. Mourinho wanted Drogba, Abramovic wanted Ronaldinho. Mourino won.

- Kaka was offered a contract after leaving AC Milan which would have made him one of, if not the, highest paid football in the world.

- Andre Pirlo went as far as agreeing personal terms with Chelsea whilst he was still at AC Milan. The deal fell through when Silvio Berlusconi personally got involved to block the move.

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- For about two years in the mid-2000s, Chelsea tried to sign Steven Gerrard, and Gerrard himself as admitted he almost went along with it.


He rang Jose to tell him he wasn't going to join Chelsea and Jose said "that's fine but you will never win a premier league medal" and hung up, time to shut you up Jose :D

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Guest John Hancock

But then Jose felt bad, so he sent Brandan Rodgers to go get him one.


...And for that Fenway Sports Group owe Mourinho a small debt of gratitude: Rodgers was being courted by Tottenham as well as Liverpool but, after an exchange of text messages, Mourinho nodded his protege in the direction of Anfield.

'Jose told me to take the job and what a great club Liverpool was,' Rodgers revealed. 'I had spoken to him on it, he encouraged me about the sheer scale of the club. I was talking to him about a choice I maybe had, he knows the size of this.

'It is a friendship (we have). It has been a continual relationship since 2004. We have just kept in contact. I have got on with my life and work and that's it. He's been supportive of me wherever I have been even, in my time here.

'We might be considered a rival but I know that if they didn’t win the league he would want us to win it.'


~ Daily Mail


Letters of gratitude to the usual address please Liverpool fans.

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But sure we gave ye Torres, that's thanks enough and ye will be getting back good ol Victor Moses.


Mourinho hasn't crossed swords with Rodgers just yet and it doesn't look like he will, the same way go had a go off previous title contender managers.

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Plus remember to send a fruit basket to David Moyes for outstanding work in mismanaging the current champions before being Nero'd and stabbed in the back.


Barca almost signed Beckham instead of Madrid but once more, money talked and Real were willing to pay both United and Beckham more so he became a Galatico. It was only then that Barca moved to sign Ronaldino so imagine if Madrid had not got involved. Beckham would have lined up in the number seven shirt for Barca and got booted out of the team inside a year because he has no pace to play on the right in their system and Xavi and Inestia were better in the middle then him and United would have got Ronaldino who would have driven Fergie insane like Dwight Yorke and ended up god knows were two years later.


I often wonder why Kaka ended up in Spain at Real and not over at Chelsea. Chelsea could have offered just as much money wage wise and if Roman wanted him (and he did) then he would not have been scared at paying £56m - hell he paid £50m for Torres. What did happen?

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Guest John Hancock
I've heard that Manchester City offered over £100million for Kaka at one point, and the deal was rejected, so it must have been something other than just the transfer fee. As for the Chelsea deal, I think what happened is Real Madrid made their offer first and it was accepted. The deal then almost fell apart because of some agent nonsense, and Chelsea tried to make a counter offer, expecting the Madrid deal to fail, but it didn't, the agent nonsense was resolved, and Kaka decided to stick with the previous Madrid deal which Milan had already agreed to, instead of the newer Chelsea one, which is the one Milan actually wanted, because it was for more money, but they couldn't really pull out at that point, because they'd already agreed their deal with Madrid, and it was up to Kaka's personal terms.
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How different would this season have been if Neymar had chose Real instead of Barca OR was it more that Neymar's family chose Barca for him because they would have got more money? It is amazing that out of the £80m of so that Barca have paid out in total only £13m or so of that went to Santos.


Were would Bale have gone? Barca didn't go in for him, Real did because they lost out on Neymar so would Bale have stayed put or would United have signed him? How different would have this season gone for United and Moyes if that deal went through?


Going back and I mean WAY back how about the shape of Spanish Football in the 1950's and 1960's if Alfredo Di Stéfano had ended up at Barca and not Real - by the way if anybody thinks transfers involving South American clubs are dodgy these days, you need to know about how this one went down...


From Wikipedia.org


Di Stéfano's transfer to Spain would prove controversial. Real Madrid first noticed Di Stéfano at a friendly in the Nuevo Estadio Chamartín in 1952 where Di Stéfano's Colombian side, Millonarios, defeated Real 4–2. Then Real Madrid president Santiago Bernabéu Yeste was greatly impressed with Di Stéfano, and in July 1953, Real Madrid reached an agreement with Millonarios for Di Stéfano's transfer to Real Madrid.


However, Real Madrid were not the only La Liga club to notice Di Stéfano during his time at Millonarios. The mission to secure the signing of Di Stéfano to Barcelona had first been given to the Catalan Ramon Trias Fargas, who, besides being a lawyer and expert in commercial law, was the son of one of the share-holders of Millonarios, where Di Stéfano was playing at the time. According to Trias Fargas, FC Barcelona's own management effectively obstructed the transfer when club president Enric Martí i Carreto also involved Barcelona chief scout Josep Samitier in the negotiations. Samitier, in his turn, brought in Joan Busquets-Baró, a Catalan acquaintance living in Colombia, to speed up the talks with the Colombian club (and according to Finestres & Luque,[16] with Di Stéfano himself). Busquets, a director of Millonarios' rivals Santa Fe, seems to have tried more to sabotage the deal than to secure it. After issuing a harsh ultimatum to Millonarios to accept a modest offer for the player he organized Di Stéfano's defection from Colombia when the ultimatum was rejected, despite Di Stéfano owing the club money. River Plate, who owned the rights of the player from 1955 onwards, had accepted the transfer on the condition that Millonarios also agreed upon the transfer, which they, after what they perceived as Busquets' bullying tactics, weren't interested in doing. Trias Fargas' negotiations with the Colombians regarding a transfer sum were also breaking down when Enric Martí, despite assurances to Trias Fargas that he would pay whatever price Trias Fargas thought necessary, rejected a figure whenever it was agreed between the lawyer and the Colombians. Trias Fargas blamed Enric Martí, claiming Barcelona directors had allowed him to spend $20,000 but Carreto only accepted to offer $10,000 plus the player's debts.


In 1953, Di Stéfano signed a deal with Barcelona, and FIFA, who didn't know anything about Di Stéfano having left Millonarios without permission, authorized the transfer from River Plate. The Spanish Federation, however, did not recognize the deal. According to Andres Ramírez, the Spanish Football Federation secretary, both Millonarios (who owned the rights of the player until the end of 1954, according to the agreements reached in the Lima Pact) and River Plate's consent were needed in order for Di Stéfano to sign up with a Spanish club. By this point, Real Madrid had signed their own transfer agreement with Millonarios, and indeed Millonarios reported to FIFA regarding the anomalous situation of the Argentinian, so FIFA itself demanded that the Spanish Federation solve the problem. On 22 May 1953,[17] he arrived in Spain to conclude his contract with Barcelona but during the discussions with the Federation, Real Madrid's president Santiago Bernabéu, acting upon the apparent division within the Barcelona management, convinced him to sign for them instead.


During the parallel negotiations between the two Spanish clubs and Millonarios, the Spanish Federation issued a ban on foreign players in the Spanish league. On 15 September, the Spanish Federation made public the decision, signed by club presidents Martí and Bernabéu, to allow Di Stéfano to play four seasons in Spain – two for FC Barcelona and two for Real Madrid, to be played alternately. The agreement created such a storm of protests by the rest of the Barcelona management and the fans that Martí resigned a week later. The reasons for Barcelona's decision to let the player go to Madrid are disputed by the two clubs. This incident exacerbated the traditional enmity between the two clubs.


Just imagine though, if he had ended up at Barca, playing alongside Sándor Kocsis instead of Real with Puskas would the run of La Liga and European success that Real had during his time with the club never have happened and instead have occurred over in Catalan?

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Jamster26

Samuel Eto to Bolton when we had Big Sam.


Here is what Big Sam said a couple of years ago on it.


He was at Mallorca and I had to try and convince the chairman at the time that the eight million euros would have been the best eight million euros he'd ever spent and this player would be worth 20 to 25 million in the future. The thing was, we could have got him to come to England and at that particular time he would have been a bit of a capture.


To think a few years later, we tossed away £12M on the Swedish Stump, Johan Elmander.

Edited by Jamster26
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I dont think any deal for Eto would of been as simple as Allaydyce makes it out to be. This was back in the day when third party ownership was rife on the continent. Real Madrid still had a stake in him whilst he was at Mallorca. Any deal would have to of been ratified by both Mallorca and Real Madrid and at the time Real Madrid were trying to regain full ownership of the player.
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