Four stunning Premier League switches that almost happened
Fulham forward Bryan Ruiz will remain at Craven Cottage after his proposed loan switch to Spanish league outfit Levante broke down, with football’s governing body Fifa deciding not to approve the Costa Rican’s move.
Following the 29-year-old’s failed transfer, Coral writers look at five deals that almost happened and that could have changed Premier League history.
Kaka to Manchester City
After reported meetings between the Brazilian’s advisers and Manchester City officials, a world-record £100m deal for Kaka to join the mega-rich Manchester outfit looked to be close.
City, 7/1 with Coral to win the title this season, already had Brazil’s Robinho in their ranks, along with fellow South American stars Elano, Jo and Felipe Caicedo.
The 2007 World Player of the Year was set to earn an incredible £500k-a-week as part of a potential Etihad move, but the Samba Boys star stunned Mark Hughes’ men to stay at the San Siro, although eventually signing for Real Madrid in 2009.
Relive this classic Kaka goal against Brazil’s bitter rivals Argentina:
Alan Shearer to Manchester United
Newcastle United’s long-serving striker arrived at St James’ Park after a prolific career at Blackburn Rovers, but before his switch the Premier League’s all-time goalscorer twice turned down lucrative offers from Manchester United.
Shearer never looked back as he enjoyed 10 goal-laden campaigns on Tyneside, securing 260 Premier League strikes to become the top-flight’s deadliest ever finisher. Check out this stunning solo effort against the Red Devils below:
Steven Gerrard to Chelsea
The summer of 2005 featured one of the most interesting transfer sagas in Premier League history, as Liverpool’s stalwart skipper publicly announced his decision to reject a new Anfield deal, raising the possibility of move to Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
However, the very next day, the Reds rejected a reported £32m bid for their Champions League winning captain, as he subsequently penned a four-year contract extension. Self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ Mourinho has since admitted his regret at failing to lure the Kop hero to Stamford Bridge.
Who will ever forget this mother of all piledrivers from Gerrard from 2006 in the best FA Cup final of modern times:
Gabriel Batistuta to Manchester United
The former Roma and Fiorentina frontman is known as one of the best strikers to have ever played the game, boasting a wealth of pace, power and precision that struck fear into even the most dominant defenders.
Brilliant Batistuta almost moved to the Premier League to join Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils, but an Old Trafford switch was blocked because of his excessive wages, which United’s former chairman Martin Edwards refused to pay.
Argentina’s sensational striker joined Roma instead, following his departure from the Viola. Batigol incredibly bagged 249 goals in 413 league appearances during spells in Argentina, Italy and Qatar, as well as a record 56 strikes in just 78 international outings.
Louis van Gaal’s current United squad could use a forward of Batistuta’s calibre in their search for a top four spot and an FA Cup triumph this term. The Red Devils are 5/2 to claim their 12th ever cup victory this season.
Batistuta stunned the Stretford End with this magnificent long-range effort in the Champions League when Manchester United were trophy holders of Europe’s elite club competition: