Maradona to Sheffield United? Rivaldo to Spurs? Lewandowski to Blackburn? Unbelievably these transfers almost happened. Here's how...

Words By Oliver Kenyon

10. Ronaldo To Liverpool

Not the fat one. Gerard Houillier apparently came close to signing CR7 for Liverpool but fell at the final hurdle. The stumbling block? Ronaldo's wage demands and a Liverpool board  who didn't deem the initial investment required to be a valuable one. Ronaldo duly responded during his time with rivals Manchester United. 84 goals, three Premier League titles and an £80 million move to Madrid later and the rest is history. Ouch.

9. Ronaldinho To Man United

The scene was set: Beckham's £25 million pound move to Real Madrid had made the funds available and Ferguson had declared his interest in the PSG star. English football fans were left dumbfounded though when United failed to match Barcelona's bid of £21 million, missing out on a future two-time FIFA World Player of the Year. In fairness that summer saw United buy a host of other stars in David Bellion, Eric Djemba-Djemba (so good they named him twice), Kleberson and a little known Portuguese winger- Cristiano Ronaldo?

8. Lewandowski To Blackburn

The Dortmund striker is the talk of the transfer market right now with a move to either European champions Bayern Munich or Manchester United on the cards. However it was the footballing brain of 'Big' Sam Allardyce that tried to bring him to England  way before the hyperbole began. Blackburn wanted the then Lech Poznan man but the infamous Icelandic ash cloud stopped his flight over and a potential move for just £2.5 million pounds. Damn you volcano!!

7. Michael Essien To Burnley

They say there's too much money in football so it's easy to sympathise with Burnley turning down a young Michael Essien's ridiculous wage demands after a trial with the club. £60 a week? you must be joking. Former owner Brendan Flood revealed that cash-strapped Burnley were unable to break their wage structure for apprentices and offer the Ghanaian any more than the meagre 60 quid limit.

6. Cantona To Sheffield Wednesday

Wednesday fans look away now. The Frenchman who went on to become 'King Eric' at Man United and a Premier League legend was once courted by the Sheffield club but after manager Trevor Francis stalled on signing the striker, Cantona signed for local rivals Leeds instead.

5. Ibrahimović To Arsenal

Earlier on in the Swedish star's career, a move to Highbury seemed all but sealed however it fell through due to- as Zlatan claims- a lack of love shown to him by manager Arsene Wenger. Arsenal fans will likely kick themselves looking at Ibra's incredible trophy-winning statistics; the Swede boasting 9 league titles in the years since the Gunners almost signed him. Still, they bagged Francis Jeffers a year later so who's the real winner?

4. Shevchenko To West Ham

2004 Ballon d'Or winner, a Champions League medal and a goal for West Ham in a friendly against Barnet reserves. Former Hammer's boss Harry Redknapp revealed that Shevchenko was offered to the London club as a burgeoning youngster at Dynamo Kiev for a cool million pounds. Redknapp passed on the offer as it was a bit too pricey. Shevchenko did finally make the move to England for Chelsea in 2006, bagging just 9 goals and, err, justifying West Ham's decision?

3. Zidane To Blackburn

The moneyed Blackburn Rovers of the mid-nighties could've have anyone they wanted. But isn't it better to treasure what you've already got? Millionaire owner Jack Walker famously turned down a move for future 3-time World Player of the Year claiming “Why do you want to  sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?”. Indeed.

2. Rivaldo To Spurs

Talking of Tim Sherwood, the former Blackburn midfielder was once fined for criticising Tottenham's transfer policy during Glen Hoddle's tenure. I'm not sure he would've had a leg to stand on had Daniel Levy and Hoddle got their man in World Cup winner Rivaldo after the Brazilian left Barcelona in 2002. Unfortunately for Spurs fans the superstar chose AC Milan instead, though they will no doubt have accepted a letter explaining his decision as a close consolation, wouldn't they?

1. Maradona To Sheffield United

Surely the greatest player of all time (Pep Guardiola's words, not mine) warrants the top spot in this list? Not that this will soften the blow for Sheffield United supporters of course; the Blades reportedly had a £200,000 deal in place to bring a 17-year-old Maradona to Bramall Lane which was eventually scuppered by -you guessed it-  a refusal to stump up the cash. In the following seasons Diego went on to play for Boca Juniors and then the mighty Barcelona. Sheffield United were relegated to Division Four...

 

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Just because you're running around loads doesn't mean you have to lower your sartorial standards thanks to our favourite designer twosome. Check out this lot:

1. Gold football shorts

Looking bling doesn't have to end with flash football boots.


2. Gold football tube socks

These should enrage a few lumbering, overweight defenders so you better be quick if you're going to wear them.