The most gripping summer transfer sagas in Premier League history - including Man Utd and Chelsea chases
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Who doesn’t love a good old transfer saga? Well, nobody really. If we are honest, they can be a little monotonous and time consuming, with the only people it really serves are those looking to fill column inches and air-time with the seemingly endless speculation over the deal.
But nevertheless, there are times when they can’t be avoided and there are several sagas currently being played out across the summer transfer window - so it feels like a good time for us to have a look back at some of the most memorable in the history of the Premier League.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United to Juventus, Juventus to Manchester United, Manchester United to Juventus)
The France international loves a saga more than an elderly couple looking for a holiday abroad. After coming through the ranks at Manchester United, Pogba angled for a move to Italy after becoming frustrated by the lack of opportunities with the 13-time Premier League champions.
But he wasn’t finished there and there was more seemingly endless tittle-tattle when he decided he missed Old Trafford after a highly successful spell with the Turin giants. A £90million move came to pass but it is safe to say the Frenchman’s second spell with United failed to hit the expected heights. Queue more needless moaning, anchoring for a move and talk of his unhappiness at Old Trafford and an eventual move back to Juve was secured last summer.
Peter Odemwingie (West Bromwich Albion to Queen’s Park Rangers)
Possibly the most iconic moment of any transfer deadline day - even more so than a reporter having a lively purple object thrust into his ear live on air.
We all know Harry Redknapp loves a deal, although don’t accuse him of being a wheeler-dealer or he will be after you. But this was one deal the former Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur manager did not love as Nigeria international Odemwingie was left sat in his car just down the road from Loftus Road and was interviewed live on Sky Sports News as a deal failed to come to pass.
Red faces all round - but more than anything, it made for some rather brilliant broadcasting.
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool to Chelsea)
The one that got away…for Chelsea anyway! It felt highly unlikely when speculation over Gerrard leaving his beloved Liverpool to move to Stamford Bridge first hit the headlines just weeks after the Reds’ Champions League Final win against AC Milan in the summer of 2005.
Claim and counter-claim followed, Gerrard’s head seemed to have been turned by an astonishingly lucrative contract offer from Chelsea and the deal seemed to be on the verge of completion - a Liverpool fan was famously filmed burning their shirt in protest.
However, there was a final twist in the tale as Gerrard, despite handing in a transfer request, turned his back on a move to West London, remained a Red and firmly secured his position as a club legend by the time his career came to a close. Was it all a cunning move from his agent to secure a more lucrative deal at Anfield? Surely not...
Ashley Cole (Arsenal to Chelsea)
A move that led to the England left-back, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and the Blues all receiving fines. This saga had its roots in contract talks between Cole and Arsenal that almost led to the defender swerving his car off the road, such was the meagreness of the Gunners £55,000-a-week offer to their academy graduate.
Despite being a key part of Arsene Wenger’s side and a member of the Invincibles, a part of the ways seemed inevitable and Cole eventually joined Chelsea after alleged secret meetings with Mourinho, Peter Kenyon and his agent, Pini Zahavi.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United to Real Madrid)
It’s really a surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo relished being in the limelight as speculation over his future became probably the longest running transfer saga in the history of transfer sagas throughout 2008 and 2009. It’s even more of a surprise that Real Madrid felt any player should be honoured to join them as they teetered on the edge of indecency, flaunting themselves in the media in an attempt to force a move for the Portuguese legend.
An initial approach as made in the summer of 2008, yet Ronaldo - almost against his will - remained at Old Trafford before 12 months of flirting between the forward and the La Liga giants finally came to a successful conclusion ahead of the 2009/10 season.
David De Gea (Manchester United to Real Madrid)
Ah, the one with the broken fax machine! Not for the first time in their recent history - or the first time in this list - Real Madrid were at the heart of a transfer saga as they made a move for Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea. The ‘deal’ went down to the final hours of the summer transfer window in 2015 but a slow fax ensured the deadline passed without a successful conclusion and De Gea remained at Old Trafford.