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Do you remember these 10 infamous transfers between rivals’ clubs?

| 27.08.2020

Oh how we’d love to be a fly on the wall in the boardroom during the summer transfer window. Big deals, late deals, smiles and tears as fans find out the next player they’ll be worshipping at their club.

But while many are left rejoicing, there’s some moves that fans can never get over. We’ve taken a trip down memory lane to look at some of the transfers that may still leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

Here’s our top ten for you to remember all over again…

Robin Van Persie (Arsenal to Manchester United – 2012)

Arsenal fans look away now! Gooners had a love/hate relationship with RVP during his 12 years in North London, capable of world class strikes but often injured.

But it all turned sour when the Dutchman made a move to Manchester United in 2012. He would go on to win the Premier League in his first season at Old Trafford – a trophy that had eluded Arsenal for so long.

RVP has gone down in Man United history, and left Arsenal fans reeling.

Carlos Tevez (Manchester United to Manchester City – 2009)

Welcome to Manchester. It was bold from Manchester City to reveal a billboard of their new signing in the city centre in 2009. But more importantly, for them, it was blue.

Carlos Tevez had enjoyed two seasons on loan at United – winning the Champions League in 2008 – before the Cityzens signed the Argentine on a permanent deal.

This was the first signs of the power-struggle in Manchester, but with Sir Alex Ferguson, Man United were still the dominant Mancunian power.

Fast forward to present day however, and things have turned out pretty well for City.

Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich – 2013)

After Borussia Dortmund had won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, Bayern Munich knew something had to change.

They ended up nicking Dortmund’s diminutive playmaker Mario Gotze. It caused a right stir in Germany as former Jurgen Klopp said he was powerless to stop Gotze linking up with Pep Guardiola in Bavaria.

Gotze would go on to win another three league titles but returned to Dortmund in 2016 hoping for retribution.

Rio Ferdinand (Leeds United to Manchester United – 2002)

Ferdinand was a key part of David O’Leary’s buccaneering Leeds team that reached the 2000/01 Champions League semi-finals.

But after failing to qualify for the competition the following season, and with the 2002 World Cup that summer, Ferdinand wanted out.

Leeds’ perilous financial situation was becoming clear, and Ferdinand revealed he begged the club to let him leave for their rivals.

On July 22nd, 2002, Ferdinand’s move to Man United saw him become the world’s most expensive defender for the second time in his career.

Ashley Cole/William Gallas (Arsenal to Chelsea swap deal – 2006)

Jose Mourinho needed a top-notch left back and Ashley Cole was his pick with both Chelsea and Cole fined for illegally tapping up.

And the eventually transfer which saw William Gallas move to the Emirates Stadium was a sore one for Arsenal fans.

When Cole returned to North London with Chelsea, they’d dubbed him ‘Cashley’ and waved £20 notes in the air. While Arsenal have gone backwards since, Cole went on to every trophy in the domestic game in Chelsea blue.

Luis Figo (Barcelona to Real Madrid – 2000)

Real Madrid were forming what would soon be known as the Galacticos. New Madrid President Florentino Perez met Figo’s Barcelona buy-out that brought him to the Bernabeu in 2000.

Barcelona fans reacted accordingly, and showed their displeasure with the transfer by lobbing a pig’s head onto the pitch while Figo took a corner during El Clasico in 2002.

Barca fans called him a ‘traitor’ and a ‘mercenary’ but Figo would go down as one of Real Madrid’s greatest ever signings.

Sol Campbell (Tottenham Hotspur to Arsenal 2001)

Sol Campbell’s move across North London still doesn’t sit right with some Tottenham fans, even 19 years on.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger called Campbell ‘indestructible’ and he’d form the bedrock for a period of Arsenal dominance that saw two League titles, including an unbeaten season and three FA Cups.

The man Spurs fans labelled ‘Judas’ became a Gunners legend just like that.

Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli to Juventus – 2016)

Gonzalo Higuain fast became a hero to all Neapolitans in his three-year spell at the club. The Argentine notched 36 goals in 35 games during the 2015-16 but could not wrestle the title away from Juventus.

The rivalry between the two clubs was at a high, but after Higuain’s relationship broke down with Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis, Juve swooped.

The Napoli fans felt betrayed their hero had chosen their nearest rivals, but Higuain would go onto win three Serie A titles that were so elusive in Naples.

Michael Laudrup (Barcelona to Real Madrid – 1994)

You don’t often see Guardiola in tears, but Michael Laudrup’s move to Real Madrid in 1994 allegedly left the Man City manager pleading for him to stay.

Laudrup was one of the pillars of the Dream Team alongside Ronald Koeman and Hristo Stoichkov. But when Romario was signed in 1994, things changed as he was left out of the European Cup final by gaffer Johan Cruyff.

That put the wheels in motion for a move away from the Camp Nou and surprise, surprise Real Madrid came calling. Was the move out of spite for Cruyff or to help Real reach the summit again? Either way it worked out for the Dane, who won his fifth-straight La Liga title in 1995, his first season in Madrid.

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Charlie Dear

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