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Five Deadline Day Deal Disasters That Fell Through For Farcical Reasons

John Balfe
By John Balfe
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Transfer deadline day is like Christmas Eve for football fans. There's anticipation in the air, as chairmen all accross Europe get in line to throw untold riches towards making their club the best in the land.

Sometimes, though, things hit a snatch. What follows are five famous deadline day deals that didn't quite go as expected.

David De Gea To Real Madrid

We all know this one. Just two years ago it seemed that David De Gea's move from what was then a struggling Manchester United side to European Champions Real Madrid was a done deal. The fee had been arranged by all parties. Keylor Navas was to make the move from Madrid to Manchester to fill the gap. All that was left was to dot the I's and cross the T's. Or so we thought.

What followed was a particularly high stakes blame game. Real Madrid received the confirmation via fax of the transfer at 11.59pm which left them no time to confirm it with the Liga de Fútbol. The deal was off.

Real Madrid blamed Manchester United for waiting too long to send them the documentation confirming the transfer to Madrid. United, of course, maintained that they are blameless and a simple problem with their fax machine was to blame for scuppering what would have been a world record transfer for a goalkeeper.

The player was reported to be "distraught" at the crumbling of his dream move to the Spanish capital but was soon rewarded with a new deal and all appears to be rosy once more for Manchester United's #1.

Fabio Coentrao To Manchester United

Why do so many of these involve Manchester United and Real Madrid? Fabio Coentrao was, at the time at least, one of the finest left-backs in the world. The Portuguese was lined up for a loan move from Madrid to Manchester in Louis van Gaal's first season in charge at Old Trafford on deadline day 2014.


Of course, as is strangely so often the case with these two clubs, the negotiations hit a snag and Coentrao was informed while on national team duty that his move now would not be happening - and he didn't take the news particularly well, breaking down and crying on the shoulders of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani right there on the training ground.


"Distraught", you might say.

Yann M'Vila To Sunderland

Frenchman M'Vila moved to Sunderland on loan from Russian side Rubin Kazan last season and, by all account, absolutely LOVED the place. So much so that he campaigned for a move back to Tyneside with all of his might, so when it fell through he responded as any adult would do: by posting an emoji-filled message straight up to Instagram.


Peter Odemwingie To QPR

In a sense, you have to tip your hat to Peter Odemwingie. The guy is a go-getter. The Nigerian forward was contracted to West Brom in the summer of 2013 but that didn't stop him driving 120 miles to London in a vain attempt to force a move to QPR.

What made it worse is that Odemwingie was the recipient of the dreaded microphone-in-the-car-window interview that Sky Sports are so fond of and the player opined that he was looking forward to a "new chapter" in his career. Instead, when the 11pm deadline came and went Odemwingie was forced to make the lonely drive back to Birmingham with his tail firmly between his legs. He never played for West Brom again.


Robinho To Chelsea

Back in 2008, Robinho became the first real 'galactico' signing made by the newly oil-rich Manchester City boss Mark Hughes, who famously gazumped Chelsea with a late bid after it looked for all the world that the Brazilian forward was going to move to Stamford Bridge.

It was a big deal and, by a considerable margin, the biggest transfer in the history of Manchester City. The club couldn't wait to hold a press conference and show off their new toy - except apparently somebody forgot to tell Robinho who it was that he actually signed for.

And, according to Robinho years later, that wasn't just a slip of the tongue - he genuinely didn't know who he was signing for until he was paraded in front of the media at the Etihad Stadium.


I knew I was going to play in England but I didn't know for which team and I was very happy when I found that I had the opportunity to play for Manchester City.

It all started well for Robinho in Manchester, scoring 13 minutes into his debut and then later against Chelsea but he only found the net 14 more times in his entire stint at the club before departing for Milan two years later on a free transfer.

Seems like Chelsea dodged a bullet there to be fair.



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