These five transfers never actually materialised but if they did could have dramatically altered the futures of the clubs concerned. Its interesting to think how different the world of football may be today if these deals had actually gone ahead, anyway lets get to it.
5 – Yaya Touré to Arsenal
The Belgian spent many weeks at the club however one performance seemed to end his short lived spell. ‘Yaya Touré played for us in a pre-season game as a second striker and he was completely average on the day.’ Wenger commented. Nonetheless, Wenger recognised Yaya’s talents and wanted to sign him. But, Yaya wanted to play first team football as soon as possible, so he left for Metalurh Donetsk.
4 – Gareth Bale to Manchester United
After bursting onto the scene as a teenager at Southampton Gareth Bale was one of the hottest prospects in British football and was certainly not short of admirers. Ferguson admits United were among those looking to do a deal, but saw an approach knocked back by Southampton. Shortly after, The Saints accepted an offer from Spurs and the player was on his way to London. ‘It happens. You don’t get them all. As I said before, we would have loved to have got (Paul) Gascoigne but we didn’t’ Ferguson reminisces.
3 – Sergio Agüero to Chelsea
Aguero seemed to be on the verge of agreeing a deal at Chelsea, he had already said that he thinks Chelsea are a great club and how he and his wife would love to live in the capital. A fee had been agreed between Chelsea and Atletico however, the London side deemed his wage demands disproportionate to his playing ability. Chelsea then went on to splash out £50million on Fernando Torres from Liverpool, how that makes sense I do not know.
To add insult to injury, Manchester City signed Agüero for £35 million, a bargain compared to what Chelsea paid for Torres.
2 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Arsenal
Aged just sixteen Zlatan Ibrahimovic was invited to travel down to Highbury with a view to the Gunners signing the player, he allegedly told Arsene Wenger that ‘he doesn’t do trials’. With the view that no player is bigger than the team the Swede was sent packing. When asking about letting Zlatan slip through his grasps, Arsene said:
‘I wanted to see him. I did not know him, you cannot sign players you have not seen at all because it is not serious.
‘He was 16. I asked him to have a little training session with the first team and he didn’t want to do it.
‘Do I regret it? No.’
Ibrahimovic went on to sign for Ajax and has gone on to win league titles with AC Milan, Barcelona and Inter.
1 – Cristiano Ronaldo to Arsenal
Yes, the great Cristiano Ronaldo was also on the books of Arsenal as a teenager. In 2003 Arsenal agreed a fee with Sporting Lisbon for the winger, who had came over for a trial. But the Gunners were too slow in deciding if to sign him, allowing Sir Alex Ferguson to come in and sign him after facing him in a pre-season friendly.
I remember what happened to Ronaldo at Arsenal,’ Ronaldo’s agent recalls. ‘They watched him nine or ten times, and when everything seemed decided, then Manchester United played at the inauguration of the Alvaladze Stadium and the players themselves urged Ferguson to buy him.
‘Nani was also followed by Tottenham and Arsenal, but as I say, who sleeps in business loses.’