Top 10 Football Transfer Sagas

Every transfer window there are hundreds of transfer rumours, some which come true while others are simply plucked out of thin air.

We have seen transfer activity already this summer despite the transfer window not being officially open.

Transfer windows are usually dominated by transfer sagas which hog the headlines for an extended period. The likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Romelu Lukaku, and Virgil Van Dijk are just a few example of players whose future could take all summer to be decided.

We take a look back at ten transfer sagas which seemed to drag on and on…


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Liverpool
Club To: Arsenal

After establishing himself as one of the league’s top strikers following his move from Ajax to Liverpool, Luis Suarez expressed his desire to leave the club in 2013 – citing the constant media criticism as the reason for leaving.

There were plenty of suitors for the Uruguayan international, but Arsenal emerged as favourites for his signature, despite him wanting to leave England. Arsene Wenger famously bid £40,000,000 and £1 to trigger a clause in his contract allowing him to speak to other clubs however this was not the case. The Reds rejected the audacious offer from their Premier League rival.

Suarez insisted he wanted to leave the club after Liverpool failed to reach the Champions League and was forced to train away from the first-team by Brendan Rodgers. He later decided to stay the club for one more season before joining Barcelona.


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Liverpool
Club To: Chelsea

Back in 2005, Liverpool completed the greatest Champions League final comeback in history to beat AC Milan on penalties after being 3-0 down at half-time. Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, questioned how he could ever leave the club after a night like tonight.

However, soon after their Champions League heroics, Gerrard seemed destined to leave his boyhood club Liverpool to join Premier League rivals, Chelsea, as contract negotiations came to a standstill.

The former England international rejected the offer of a new deal, and Liverpool rejected multiple bids from the Blues.

Liverpool’s chief executive, Rick Parry, conceded that the club had lost Gerrard after the player expressed his desire to leave again however just 24 hours later, the midfielder penned a new contract to stay at Anfield; quashing rumours regarding his future.

He spent the majority of his career on Merseyside before leaving to join LA Galaxy where he spent two years before returning to the club in a coaching role.


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Arsenal
Club To: Chelsea

One of the most publicised transfer sagas occurred back in 2005 as Ashley Cole completed a move from Arsenal to Chelsea.

Cole has enjoyed a stellar season for the Gunners and his future remained unclear. It was at this time he contacted Chelsea regarding a move but did not inform his club. He was fined £100,000 for having a private meeting with Jose Mourinho alongside his agent.

The left-back stayed at the club, but Chelsea eventually got their man a year later. Arsenal rejected offers of £16m for the Englishman before finally agreeing on a deal which saw Cole move for £5m and William Gallas in exchange.


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Arsenal
Club To: Barcelona

Hundreds of stories were printed in 2010 covering Cesc Fabregas’ long-awaited return to Barcelona from Arsenal.

After leaving Barca’s famous academy, La Masia, Fabregas moved to Arsenal where he progressed to become club captain before the Blaugrana made the Spaniard their top transfer target. He was pictured in a Barcelona shirt, but Arsenal kept hold of their star man.

A year later and Barcelona came calling yet again. Several bids were rejected by the Gunners until Arsene Wenger was forced to accept £35m for his services which included Fabregas paying Arsenal out of his wages.

He completed his move back to Spain to end one of the longest transfer sagas in Premier League history before returning to ply his trade in England with Chelsea.


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Manchester United
Club To: Chelsea

John Obi Mikel’s transfer to Chelsea was also one of the most controversial moves in Premier League history.

After impressing at the FIFA World Youth Championship, Manchester United reached an agreement with Lyn to sign the Nigerian but bypassed Mikel’s agents and representatives in the deal. Mikel stated he was happy to join the club.

However, Chelsea claimed they had reached an agreement to sign the player with his representation – which Lyn denied. The transfer then became extremely messy with Mikel travelling to London to complete a move.

The Blues pushed the transfer through for £16m; £4m went to Lyn with £12m going to United. He went on to make over 300 appearances for the London side.


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Tottenham
Club To: Real Madrid

Another story which dominated the headlines all summer long was Gareth Bale’s record-breaking move from Tottenham to Real Madrid.

The Spanish club had identified Bale as their next ‘Galactico’ following a stunning season in the Premier League with his stock hitting unimaginable heights.

Known for his tough stance on negotiations, Tottenham Charmian Daniel Levy insisted the Welshman would stay at the club but was powerless to resist after Bale expressed his desire to join Madrid.

A then world record fee of £85.1m was accepted, and Bale completed his move. He has gone on to lift one league title and three Champions League trophies during his time in Spain.


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Newcastle
Club To: Manchester United

Former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, usually got his own way. But despite courting the forward for years, Fergie never managed to sign Alan Shearer.

The forward established himself as one of the world’s best during his time at Blackburn – where he goals helped snatch the title from under United’s noses. After Euro 96, United expressed their desire to bring Shearer to Old Trafford.

However, Blackburn refused to allow their star player to move to Manchester and accepted a world-record bid of £15m from Shearer’s boyhood club Newcastle.


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Arsenal
Club To: Real Madrid

One of the most coveted players in Premier League history, Real Madrid’s interest in Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira came as no surprise.

Countless amounts of clubs tracked the French midfielder during his illustrious career dating back to 2001 when Manchester United made an audacious attempt to steal their rival’s key player.

Again in 2003, interest grew with Chelsea, United and Real Madrid all looking to sign Vieira but again he remained with the Gunners despite Madrid’s president Florentino Perez insisting he would do all he could to sign him.

In 2005, Vieira was finally ready to leave Arsenal, but it was not Madrid who won the race for his signature – with Juventus completing a £18m deal to bring the midfielder to Italy.


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Real Madrid
Club To: Manchester City

In 2008, Manchester City became one of the world’s richest clubs following Sheikh Mansour’s successful takeover – and they embarked on transforming their playing squad.

It was deadline day of the summer transfer window that the takeover was completed and the Citizens attempted a sensational swoop to sign Robinho from Real Madrid despite the player being set to join Chelsea.

The Brazilian seemed destined to end up at Stamford Bridge before City managed to convince him to move to Manchester – using their Brazilian players such as Elano and Jo to persuade him to accept the move.

His move was indifferent with Robinho enjoying early success before returning to former club Santos on loan and then completing a permanent move to AC Milan.


Embed from Getty Images

Club From: Manchester United
Club To: Real Madrid

Arguably the most notorious transfer saga was Real Madrid’s pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese superstar had scored 31 goals for Manchester United and helped the Red Devils lift the Champions League. Real Madrid expressed their interest and Ronaldo admitted his interest in a move.

United filed a tampering complaint regarding their pursuit of the player – which was rejected by FIFA with Sepp Blatter revealing that Ronaldo should be allowed to leave. Another year in Manchester and another Premier League trophy, Ferguson was powerless to keep Ronaldo at the club.

After three years of chasing arguably the best player in the world, Real Madrid finally got their man for a then world record fee of £80m.

No words are needed to describe what happened next.

Follow me on Twitter – @MarcusBanks7 – Visit my blog The Beautiful Game for more



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s