Home  »     »   Kaka, Ronaldinho and Zidane: The Premier League transfers that never happened

Kaka, Ronaldinho and Zidane: The Premier League transfers that never happened

| 09.04.2020

The transfer window really sparks the imagination of the fans. Whether it’s dreams of  your club splashing the cash or signing the new wonderkid!

But sometimes no matter how hard you try, the signings just don’t happen.

We’ve racked our brains and come up with a few examples of transfers that could have changed the course of Premier League history.

Kaka to Manchester City

Newly minted Man City were ready for a cash splurge in 2009. The ‘noisy neighbours’ wanted to make a big statement to rivals Man United and had Kaka in their sights.

The Citizens chucked £108million at the former Ballon D’or winner that had AC Milan reeling. Even in 2020 it would leave him sixth on the highest all-time transfer record list.

Sadly, for City fans the Brazilian decided to stay in Milan. What a signing that would have been!

Rivaldo to Bolton Wanderers

Rivaldo at the Reebok Stadium? The year was 2004 and the Trotters were flying high with dreams of European football.

Boss Sam Allardyce was sculpting a team of high-class technicians including Youri Djorkaeff, Jay-Jay Okocha and Ivan Campo – Rivaldo would have been the icing on on the cake.

The Brazilian was on board at one point; “I can see they have clear plans for Bolton’s future and together I think we could get into Europe.”

But a sudden change of heart saw him join Olympiakos. Oh, what could have been!

Zinedine Zidane to Blackburn Rovers

In 1995, just after winning the Premier League, Blackburn nearly got their hands on Zinedine Zidane.

But former owner Jack Walker had other ideas; “Why do we want to sign Zidane, when we have Tim Sherwood?”. These now infamous words have gone down in folklore.

‘Zizou’ became arguably the best footballer of his generation, winning Serie A, La Liga, the Champions League, the World Cup, the Euros and a plethora of individual honours including World Player of the Year and the Ballon D’or.

The one that got away!

Ronaldinho to Arsenal

Arsenal have a long list of ‘could have been’s’ but this one really could have become a game changer.

Former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said he had already spoken to Ronaldinho’s agent when the player was 20 and still at Gremio. But work permit issues meant he couldn’t get international clearance to travel to London.

The Brazilian went on to sign for PSG and then become a revelation at Barcelona. Manchester United were left ruining missed opportunities too.

Andriy Shevchenko to West Ham United

Long before his Chelsea days, Shevchenko was close to a move to London

Long before Harry Redknapp was leaning out of car windows discussing deadline day deals, he was rejecting future Champions League winner Andriy Shevchenko.

Sheva had come down to East London for a four-day trial in 1994, running out against Barnet reserves.

Despite showcasing his talents, Redknapp wasn’t fully convinced;”He didn’t pull up any trees but looked decent enough. But this was just after I had had all those problems with the Romanian lads and I thought the last thing I needed was a Ukrainian.”

The likes of Joe Cole and Frank Lampard feeding Shevchenko could have been a mouth-watering sight for Hammers fans.

Robert Lewandowski to Blackburn Rovers

Sam Allardyce returns to our list with another ‘almost’ moment. In 2010, Blackburn offered Lewandowski’s club Lech Poznan £4million for the Polish striker’s services.

But a freak, volcanic ash eruption from Iceland halted air travel and stopped Lewandowski from making it to Lancashire.

He opted for a move to Germany and Borussia Dortmund. The rest, as they say, is history.

View the latest football odds



Charlie Dear

Charlie has covered sport for the likes of The Guardian, Football365 and FourFourTwo. Arsenal sufferer. German football enthusiast.