football

The Deadline Day Moves We Wanted That Never Materialised

October 10, 2017

- Grant Whittington

Transfer deadline day always promises so much, but there are times when it fails to deliver on the big deals we anticipate. Here are five of those high-profile moves that we yearned for, but ultimately never came to fruition on August 31st.

Alexis Sanchez To Manchester City

City’s £60million bid to entice wantaway striker Sanchez fell through following Arsenal’s failure to secure a replacement in time. Monaco winger Thomas Lemar opted to decide against a move to North London meaning the Chilean star will have to wait a little while longer to be reunited with his former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.

As Arsenal missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time in 20 years, Sanchez would be eligible to participate in Europe’s premier club competition should City return with a fresh bid in January. Sanchez is in the final year of his contract and will be free to go for nothing next summer.

Given the sheer gluttony of attacking riches at Guardiola’s disposal, it remains to be seen how the Spaniard would fit into City’s free-scoring side – one that has scored 27 goals in eight wins from their last eight matches.

Questions no longer surround their squad depth or chronic goalkeeping woes as the blue half of Manchester look set to mount a strong challenge at domestic and European glory. Adding Sanchez to their hierarchy would be almost unfair to their competition – it simply remains a question of when, not if. If you fancy placing a bet on Sanchez leaving why not check out our selection of hand picked bookies?

Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona

The long-running transfer saga of the Brazilian wizard ended with Coutinho staying at Anfield despite handing in a transfer request on the inaugural day of the new Premier League campaign in an attempt to force a move to the Catalan giants. Jurgen Klopp’s strong management style and Liverpool’s stubbornness to hold onto their leading light resulted in the rejection of three bids for the 25-year-old, including a final offer for a club-record £118million.

The importance of keeping hold of Coutinho, who penned a new five-year contract back in January, was underlined with his stunning goal in their last Premier League encounter at Newcastle United – the third consecutive game in which he has got his name on the scoresheet and his 17th from outside the box in the Premier League – three more than any other player since his debut in February 2013.

His future may have overshadowed the start of Liverpool’s season, but for how long can the Reds retain the services of their one truly world-class player?

Ross Barkley To Chelsea

At just 23 years of age, the Everton midfielder is already at a crossroads in his career. His manager Ronald Koeman admitted that his future plans did not involve Barkley and was “100% sure” that the youngster would have found a new club come the end of the transfer window.

Nevertheless, it is Barkley himself who prevented a switch to Premier League champions Chelsea materialising after he pulled out of a move to Stamford Bridge, deciding it would be sagacious to weigh up his future in January when fully fit (Barkley suffered a hamstring injury in training back in August and was ruled out for three months).

It appears the youngster must leave his boyhood club and relocate to pastures new if he is to realise his enormous potential. According to Talksport, “Tottenham Hotspur are ready to jeopardise Chelsea’s plans to sign the England international in January by making a move for Barkley.” Let the battle and bidding commence.

Virgil Van Dijk To Liverpool

Liverpool’s defensive issues this campaign have been well documented and after much speculation, the Dutch defender remains a Southampton player. There was never much of a sniff of a deal on deadline day with the Saints not receiving one single bid for the former Celtic ace and instead the Reds were forced into a humiliating apology after Southampton made an official complaint that they had tapped up the 26-year-old.

If Jurgen Klopp revives his interest in January, he will likely have to fork out a world-record fee for a defender in the region of £60-70million, but Van Dijk alone is unlikely to be enough of a solution to solving their rearguard frailties and inability to keep clean sheets.

Jonny Evans To Man City

West Bromwich Albion held firm despite the best efforts of City to tempt the former Manchester United centre-back away from the Hawthorns in a transfer that many deemed peculiar and awash with desperation on Guardiola’s part.

For a deal to be pushed through for Evans on Deadline Day, Eliaquim Mangala had to complete his transfer to Crystal Palace, but that move did not transpire, despite the Eagles making an £18million bid.

Prior to this, City had two bids rejected by the Baggies for Evans and manager Tony Pulis will be delighted he has been able to hang on to the experience and leadership qualities of his club captain.

Evans is someone who would have added depth to an important area of City’s squad and is extremely versatile – capable of playing anywhere across the backline. The Northern Ireland international’s main focus will now be on helping his country reach next year’s World Cup finals through the dreaded play-offs.

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