Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Those who make the decisions at some of the biggest football clubs in the World have a job that everybody thinks they would love, but in reality it's an incredibly tough task and one that often has people pointing and laughing at you while wondering what the hell you were thinking.
The following transfers stories were all reported to be done deals in one place or another, but didn't go through because of a change of mind or some unforeseen circumstances. If that had of happened, it is crazy to think of what may have become of both the players and the clubs involved.
Zinedine Zidane to Blackburn Rovers
Back when Blackburn were the new financial superpower on the block, there were big money (at the time) signings coming in regularly around their title-winning 1994/95 campaign.
One name that was being mentioned as another coup was the starlet of French football, Zinedine Zidane, but when Jack Walker was asked about why the deal fell through, Walker replied "Why would I need Zidane when I've got Tim Sherwood?". Oh dear.
Diego Maradona to Sheffield United
Sheffield United manager Harry Haslam spotted a 17 year old Diego Maradona on a scouting trip to Argentina, and wasted no time in agreeing a £200,000 deal for his signature.
Upon returning home, the Sheffield United board asked Haslam to go for a cheaper option as money was tight, so the Blades opted for River Plate's Alex Sabella instead, who signed for £160,000. The difference that £40,000 makes...
Ronaldinho to Manchester United
The Summer of 2003 was a wild one for fans of Manchester United. After the departure of David Beckham to Real Madrid, United were expected to replace Becks with another star name, and most believed that was certain to be Ronaldinho.
Talks were held, and some even believe that the only thing holding up the deal was Manchester United's reluctance to gift the Brazilian a helicopter so he could visit London regularly, but ultimately Ronaldinho opted for Barcelona. Man United had to settle for a skinny one-trick-pony from Portugal called Cristiano.
Didier Drogba to Southampton
They can sure spot a player at Southampton. The Saints were very interested in a 23 year old Drogba while he was banging in goals for Guingamp, and made contact with the player's agent about a deal. Drogba's agent was quoted the next year as saying:
Southampton scouts Terry Cooper and Ray Clark told the club to buy him, but their valuation of the player and Guingamp's was different. Guingamp were looking in the region of £2.5 million for him, but Southampton were only willing to pay £1.5 million.
Drogba signed for Marseille and then moved to Chelsea for £24m before becoming a club legend.
Gareth Bale to Birmingham City
After a tough start to life at White Hart Lane, Gareth Bale was very close to agreeing a move to Birmingham City for the hilarious fee of £3m.
Alex McCleish has since told that Harry Redknapp decided to hang on to Bale as Spurs were having a slight injury crisis and needed the extra bodies. Just as well.
Robert Lewandowski to Blackburn
Without a doubt the most bizarre of these stories. Blackburn had agreed a fee with Lech Poznan for the sale of Robert Lewandowski just before deadline day in 2010, but the deal could not be completed because the future Bayern Munich striker was suck in Poland due to the eruption of an Icelandic volcano who's ash cloud grounded flights across Europe.
He signed for Borussia Dortmund in the next transfer window. Unlucky, Rovers fans.
Steven Gerrard to Chelsea
Back in 2005 Chelsea were turning heads with their transfer spending, generally getting whoever they wanted, and they wanted Steven Gerrard.
After Stevie G helped Liverpool to lift the Champions League trophy in Instanbul, Roman Abramovic wanted a statement signing, and apparently Gerrard welcomed the idea initially after thinking he had achieved all he could with his beloved Reds, but after thinking it over the Liverpool captain decided to remain at Merseyside.
Rivaldo to Bolton Wanderers
Big Sam's Bolton teams of the early 00's were a joy to behold, generally featuring a fading star who could still produce moments of magic. When you think of Big Sam's Bolton sides, you think Jay Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, and Ivan Campo, but all of them would have been overshadowed if Allardyce could have completed the signing of Brazilian World Cup winner Rivaldo.
All the major sports news outlets in 2004 were running with stories of Rivaldo being "on the verge" of a move to the Reebok Stadium, but he instead opted for Olympiakos. What a shame.