Tag Archives: football transfers

Some transfers that went under the radar.

We all know about the big transfers that have occurred thus far into this summer such as Manchester City’s double acquisition of Bernardo Silva and Ederson for obscene money. Or Mohamed Salah’s big money move to Anfield, or even Man United getting Victor Lindelöf’s signature. No doubt there’ll be other huge money transfers between now and deadline day. But some interesting signings have taken place that may have flown under your radar.

AC Milan have been doing some great business of late with the signing of Porto’s Andre Silva and the criminally under-rated Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez. Speaking of left-backs, Real Madrid have signed the phenomenal Theo Hernandez from cross-city rivals Atlético Madrid. Hernandez is often regarded as one of the best teenagers on the planet, while in Belgium one of the most promising young players in world football, Youri Tielemans, was sold to Monaco from Anderlecht for €25 million. He’ll be worth three times that within two years – mark my words.

Bayern Munich will feel the loss since the retirement of club idol Philipp Lahm, as well as Xabi Alonso, but they made some interesting acquisitions in former-Arsenal man Serge Gnabry from Werder Bremen, Niklas Süle from Hoffenheim, as well as getting the supremely gifted French winger Kinglsey Coman on a permanent deal, having previously been on loan for the Bavarian club.

Cristian Tello, once hailed to be Barcelona’s future left winger if it wasn’t for the signature of a certain Neymar, left the Catalan club for Real Betis. He’d previously been on loan to Fiorentina. Speaking of Serie A, Argentine midfielder Ever Banega re-joined Sevilla from Inter Milan for €8 million – the Italian club got him for nothing a year ago. French midfielder Maxime Gonalons spent his entire career at Lyon, having joined as an 11-year-old in 2000 and became a club captain and idol for the fans. He left Ligue 1 for Serie A and joined Roma. A superb signing. And a curious one as they have numerous top players such as Daniele De Rossi and Radja Nainggolan who play in his position.

Some players have been moving about as free agents such as Klaas Jan Huntelaar returning to Ajax, Real Madrid’s Pepe has made Istanbul his new home having joined Besiktas. The man that overtook Iker Casillas at Real Madrid, Diego Lopez has returned to La Liga, having joined Espanyol from AC Milan for precisely €0.

Stay tuned, as I’ll be bringing you more signings – big, small or indifferent, between now and deadline day.


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The greatest transfers that didn't happen

Zinedine Zidane. Bordeaux to Blackburn Rovers.
“Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?” was chairman’s Jack Walker’s reason for not bringing Zizou to Ewood Park in 1996. Then-boss Kenny Dalglish had agreed a superb deal in principle to sign the Frenchman, along with Christophe Dugarry. But much to his disappointment, the board refused to sanction his request. Not as disappointed as many Blackburn fans felt as they saw Zidane’s career, talent and trophy cabinet blossom with Juventus and Real Madrid over the years. Oh, what could have been…

Diego Maradona. Argentinos Juniors to Sheffield United.
Yes. Maradona. Sheffield United. It nearly happened. In 1978, Harry Haslam had struck a deal to bring El Diego to Bramall Lane for £600,000. But after being told by the board that there were not enough funds to complete the deal, he turned to fellow Argentine Alex Sabella as his replacement from River Plate. Maradona went on to become the greatest player on earth with Barcelona and Napoli (not to mention becoming a World Cup winning captain), while Sabella soon left the Blades for Leeds United.

Ronaldinho. Gremio to St. Mirren.
The Brazilian genius was, back in 2001, plying his trade with Gremio and fancied a short loan stint in Europe before making his way to Paris St-Germian, as that deal had already been done. Somehow, and for some reason we will probably never know, he chose to play for Scottish club St. Mirren but, unfortunately due to some passport problems, the deal was scuppered at the very last minute and ‘Dinho never got to taste SPL football. A shame. How it could have been all different.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Malmo to Arsenal.
In 2000, Arsene Wenger invited the Swede to a trial for the Gunners. Unfortunately for the French boss, Ibrahimovic, with his infamous ego, reportedly said “Zlatan doesn’t do trials”. Ibrahimovic went on to sign for Ajax before becoming a serial title winner in Italy and Spain while Wenger today shrugs off what could have been, saying “‘He was just 16. I asked him to have a little training session with the first team and he simply didn’t want to do it”. Fair enough. Ibra however (pictured below), would later haunt the North London club a few times later in his career

Roy Keane. Nottingham forest to Blackburn Rovers.
Another one for King Kenny that got away. believed he had completed a deal to sign the Forest midfielder in the summer of 1993. Seemingly, Dalglish tried to tie up the deal late on a Friday afternoon, but was forced to wait until the Monday to complete the paperwork. By then, though, Fergie had rung up his future United captain and changed his mind while Rovers had to sit back and watch the Corkman collect just about every honour in the game as Man United dominated the 90’s.

Paul Gascoigne. Newcastle United to Manchester United.
Gazza, a PFA Young Player of The Year, initially agreed on a move to Old Trafford, but at the 11th hour he went back on his word and joined Tottenham for a then British transfer record of £2.3m. Sir Alex Ferguson, to this day, still recalls the Geordie genius as the player he wish he’d signed more than anyone else.

What other football transfers nearly happened? Get Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)

Bargains of the transfer window

In recent years, huge amounts of money has been spent on players in football transfers and it has proved to be money almost wasted. Andrei Shevchenko’s tenure at Chelsea springs to mind when I say that. But there has been some absolute bargains. Let’s look at some.

When Liverpool scouts were eyeing up a young Welshman that played for Chester in 1980, they probably didn’t realise that they would purchase one of the club’s most important players of the 1980’s and 1990’s. He became the most expensive teenager at the time, but the £300,000 Liverpool spent on Ian Rush turned out to be money truly well spent – especially as he’s scored the most goals ever in Merseyside derbies on top of his club and personal honours.

For Liverpool’s bitter rivals Manchester United, Eric Cantona is probably seen by many as one of their greatest purchases. Arriving at Old Trafford in November 1992 with a fiery reputation, Cantona settled very well at the club. His flair, vision and spectacular goals made him a sheer fan favourite for the red half of Manchester. Alex Ferguson paid only £1.2 million for the Frenchman. For his five years at United, it was worth absolutely every penny.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/LqHsHO_RS8E" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Arguably one of Celtic’s greatest ever player is Henrik Larsson. The hugely talented Swede joined the Glasgow club for only £650,000. Not bad for a striker who became the SPL’s top goalscorer in all but one of his seasons at Celtic Park (the one that he didn’t was due to a horrific broken leg he sustained in a UEFA cup match in 1999). He totalled 242 goals in 315 games for Celtic before leaving for Barcelona in 2004. See some of his brilliance in the above video.

Finally, when Carlo Ancelotti was the boss at Parma, he insisted that one Gianfranco Zola didn’t fit in his first-team plans. Cue a move to Chelsea (Ancelotti’s current team) and a West London legend was born. Zola had wowed the crowds at Stamford Bridge, putting in a number of man-of-the-match performances, scoring wonderful goals and helping to guide the blues to a number of silverware in Chelsea’s pre-Abramovich era. Not bad for only £4.5 million. His famous number 25 shirt has not been occupied since his departure in 2003.

Only time will tell where the next superstar bargain will come from.