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The Five Most Bizarre Failed Transfers Of All Time

The transfer window provides us with some form of entertainment while we wait for Premier League football to return. This year’s market is sure to see records broken, big-money moves and the annual one or two surprises.

For your amusement, we’ve compiled a list of the five most bizarre potential transfers of all time.

Could you imagine if these moves actually happened?


Robert Lewandowski To Blackburn Rovers (2010)

Robert Lewandowski is undoubtedly one of the best strikers on the planet, and were he to move now it’s likely that it would be for an eight-figure sum. However, things could have been very different for Lewandowski back in 2010.

Lewandowski playing for Lech Poznan in 2008.


At the time, the then 21-year-old plied his trade for Lech Poznan and Blackburn looked set to secure his services for a mere £4 million. Unfortunately for Rovers fans, the infamous Icelandic ash cloud stopped all flights in and out of the UK at the time, and Lewandowski moved to Borussia Dortmund instead scoring 88 goals and winning two German titles before moving on to Bayern Munich.

Blackburn on the other hand…


Rivaldo To Bolton Wanderers (2004)

World Player of the Year in 1999, Rivaldo could’ve joined the Trotters five years later. According to his representative, Rivaldo was very close to joining Bolton, who were enjoying a period of relative success. Rivaldo said (via The Irish Times):

“I want the challenge of trying to get Bolton into Europe for the first time in their history. It is an exciting time.”

Unfortunately, the move never materialised, with Sam Allardyce telling the club’s official website that he could “categorically confirm that Rivaldo won’t be joining us.”

The World Cup winner ended up moving to Olympiacos, but what a transfer this might’ve been.


Diego Maradona To Sheffield United (1978)

As far as failed transfers go, this is almost the pick of the bunch. Sheffield United’s manager Harry Haslam went on a scouting trip to Argentina in 1978.

With Sheffield languishing in the Second Division at the time, Haslam was prepared to shed £200,000 on a 17-year-old Diego Maradona, according to The Guardian. However, Haslam picked the cheaper alternative and chose to spend £160,000 on Alex Sabella, and even his arrival couldn’t stop the Blades from being relegated the next season, with Sabella being sold on to Leeds.

Imagine Maradona plying his trade at Bramall Lane, eight years before he would single-handedly win the World Cup for Argentina.


Zinedine Zidane To Blackburn Rovers (1995)

I know what you’re thinking: Blackburn Rovers again? Fresh from winning the Premier League in 1994/95, the club were searching for new talent, and when Zidane caught the eye, Rovers were urged to bid for the 23-year old.

Jack Walker then uttered one of the most infamous lines in the history of the game:

“Why do you want to sign Zidane when we’ve got Tim Sherwood?”

Things went well for Zidane, transferring to Juventus, winning the World Cup and the Euros, then moving to Real Madrid, where he won the Champions League both as a player and a manager.

He’s no Tim Sherwood, though.


Ronaldinho To St. Mirren (2001)

I’m sure you double-checked to see if you were reading that right. Ronaldinho had just agreed a £15 million move to PSG, but was out of contract at Gremio until he moved.

St. Mirren launched an audacious loan bid to sign the superstar, who would lob David Seaman on his way to World Cup glory just a year later.

Somehow, St Mirren failed in their quest. They did, however, manage to get Stephen McPhee on loan from Coventry instead.

Now what a transfer that would have been.

Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena

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Author: Jordan Norris

Mostly covering football and GAA - Jordan is currently studying a BA English in UCC, and can be contacted through [email protected] .