The summer creates a whirlwind of transfer rumours that can at times get ever so slightly out of hand. Here we take a look at some of the most ridiculous proposed moves past & present transfer windows have provided us with.
5. Jay Bothroyd To Serie A’s Big Guns
Jay Bothroyd was something of an enigma in that he seemed to be mooted as having great potential for about a decade, yet very little ever materialised. Big things were expected of him by Arsenal at the age of 18 but his attitude saw him flogged to Coventry in 2000 for a hefty £1 million fee.
He went on to Perguia in Seria A before spending several years bouncing between promotion-chasing teams but failing to establish himself at any of them. Bothroyd eventually discovered some stable form when he moved to Cardiff City, resulting in a call-up to the England squad.
The final year of his contract reportedly saw AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus all register an interest in signing him. He eventually put pen to paper on a contract with newly-promoted QPR but his career rapidly declined since and he now plies his trade in the Japanese J2 league.
4. Ronaldinho To Blackburn Rovers
With some Manchester United fans possibly still losing sleep over dreaming about what could have been if their club had managed to seal the deal for Brazilian legend Ronaldinho back in 2003, Blackburn Rovers’ chicken-loving new owners Venky’s took the bold step of teasing the idea to their own fans.
His uninspiring tenure at AC Milan appeared to be drawing to a close and with the player himself still harbouring a desire to sample the delights of Premier League football, an offer of £20 million over three years had reportedly tempted the two-time World Player of the Year.
Alas, common sense prevailed and Ronaldinho opted to return to his homeland to represent Flamengo. While Venky’s have since led Blackburn to relegation and financial turmoil.
3. Carlos Puyol To Newcastle United
Whoever dreamt up this particular transfer rumour should be specialising in novels, not sports journalism. Apparently Barcelona were eager to sign Newcastle local lad Steven Taylor in the summer of 2010 in a swap deal involving no other than their legendary captain Carles Puyol.
Newcastle had just earned their return to the top flight when a training ground bust-up between Andy Carroll and Taylor left the latter with a broken jaw. This left Taylor’s future in doubt, with a move away looking certain.
Needless to say the rumours never came to fruition and Puyol went on to win a further two La Liga titles, a Copa Del Rey and a Champions League. While Taylor still dons a Magpies jersey.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo To Manchester City
The prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo turning out in the sky blue jersey of Manchester United’s noisy neighbours is the stuff of nightmares for United fans the world over. Just the idea of it seems preposterous, however, as his claims of love and admiration for the Old Trafford faithful seem genuine.
Manchester City have frequently attempted to throw massive amounts of money at some of the world’s best players in the hope of luring them to the blue side of Manchester, so reports of a £120 million bid for Ronaldo in 2012 is probably fact rather than fiction.
Playing out his days in the MLS seems like a more likely prospect for Portuguese international.
1. Angel Di Maria To Bayern Munich
This transfer window has seen Manchester United linked with almost anyone who has ever laced up a pair of football boots. Whether it is Louis van Gaal reinforcing each position with five new players or a player on the way out because he couldn’t cut it at the Theatre of Dreams, rumours have emerged on a daily basis.
The most absurd story that has come out so far is Bayern Munich offering Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben and cash in the region of £20 million in return for the services of United’s record signing.
Di Maria started off his first season in the Premiership in spectacular fashion but an injury and a break-in at his home saw his form veer off. This has led to speculation over his future but he is expected to remain at Old Trafford and prove his doubters wrong.
Karl Graham, Pundit Arena