10 Great Football Transfers That Never Happened

Zlatan Ibramovic to Arsenal

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring for Paris Saint Germain against St Etienne.

The man, the myth and the legend that is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This is a player who has always lived and played on his own terms and at the age of 16, the Swede was invited to Arsenal to check out the first team, facilities and was even given a shirt number. But when Arsene Wenger asked if he would undertake a trial, Ibrahimovic replied, in legendary fashion: “Zlatan doesn’t do auditions”.


Neymar da Silva to Real Madrid


The forward moved to the Camp Nou in 2013 for a fee of €57 million. At the time, according to Le 10 Sport, Real Madrid was also keen on the attacker, who ultimately opted for Barcelona. However, Madrid did try to tempt the Brazilian to the Bernabeu, with the player’s father recently revealing that Florentino Perez offered almost €150 million to snare the forward.


Steven Gerrard to Chelsea

Steven Gerrard

Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that he came so close to joining Chelsea. But come close he did.
During the 2004 European Championships, it looked like the Reds captain was on the brink of leaving Anfield until reports surfaced that suggested a hate campaign directed towards his family would keep him at the club, as seen in the Daily Mail. Gerrard decided to stay and play for new manager Rafael Benitez.



Pedro Rodriquez to Manchester United


The former Barcelona man was linked to Manchester United throughout this summer’s transfer window until he snubbed the Reds to join the Blues. He was supposed to be the marquee signing for Luis Van Gaal’s team before he joined Chelsea.


Ronaldinho to Manchester United


The Red Devils sold David Beckham to Real Madrid in 2003, and there were rumours they wanted to replace him with the Brazilian, Ronaldinho who was playing for PSG at the time. However Man United were outbid by Barcelona and were left looking pretty stupid after he went on to win the World Player Of The Year twice with the Catalan giants!

Gareth Bale to Manchester United


Sir Alex Ferguson was impressed with the then-17-year-old Gareth Bale but Southampton was unimpressed with Manchester United’s bid. Years later, Bale has established himself as one of the most lethal footballers on the planet. Perhaps Bale’s success has something to do with Ferguson paying a premium to secure Phil Jones.


Kaka to Manchester City


It cannot be understood why A.C. Milan turned down Manchester City’s £100 million bid for Kaká, only to sell the Brazilian a few months later to Real Madrid for £56 million. Kaka was the best player in the world at that time and City was ready to break the bank to bring the Brazilian to the Etihad. A.C Milan on the other hand were not interested in selling the player at any price but later reconsidered and sold him to Real Madrid for a cheaper price.

Sergio Aguero to Chelsea

Aguero was on the verge of joining Chelsea from Athletico Madrid when Chelsea signed former Liverpool star Fernando Torres. Supposedly Chelsea deemed Agüero’s wage demands disproportionate to his playing ability, yet they thought £50 million for Fernando Torres was value for their money. To make matters worse, Manchester City signed Agüero for £35 million, a bargain compared to what Chelsea paid for Torres.

John Obi Mikel to Manchester United


Having secured a transfer to Manchester United, John Obi Mikel got cold feet, and Chelsea took advantage. Chelsea crossed the ethical line when they persuaded Mikel to argue that he was forced into signing for Manchester United. Clearly Mikel wanted to join Manchester United because he was wearing their shirt. In retrospect, the worse thing Mikel did was join Chelsea, because José Mourinho forced the creative midfielder to play as a holding midfielder.


Diego Maradonna to Sheffield United


I will finish this feature with one of the biggest transfers in the past that never happened. Right player, wrong club, I’m afraid to say. Diego Maradona actually came close to signing for Sheffield United, for whom the Argentinian would have played in the late 1970s had it not been for the stinginess of the Blades’ board. In 1978, the Sheffield United manager, Harry Haslam watched the 17-year-old Maradona in action on a scouting trip to Argentina and was so impressed he immediately arranged a £200,000 deal. But the transfer fell through when the Second Division club failed to stump up extra cash on top of the fee, so Haslam instead signed Maradona’s countryman, the River Plate midfielder Alex Sabella, for £160,000.


Do you remember any other potentially amazing transfers that never happened ? Share them with us in the comments below.



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