What happened to Premier League superstars who wanted transfers but ended up staying? Lessons for Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku

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What happened to Premier League superstars who wanted transfers but ended up staying? Lessons for Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku

Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United this summer.

The player’s agent, Mino Raiola, recently reiterated his client’s desire to move after the midfielder admitted ‘it could be time for a new challenge’ last month.

Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba could have played their final competitive games in a Manchester Untied shirt

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Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba could have played their final competitive games in a Manchester Untied shirt

Red Devils team-mate Romelu Lukaku is another United star who has also cast doubt over his Old Trafford future by reaffirming his desire to play in Serie A.

Despite intense speculation surrounding their futures, Pogba and Lukaku have travelled with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad for their pre-season tour in Australia.

Could the pair fail to get their moves away from United? talkSPORT.com list other players who have wanted out, but have ended up staying at their clubs.


Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

Rooney tried to leave Manchester United TWICE during his trophy-laden 13-year spell with the club.

In October 2010, Sir Alex Ferguson revealed his star man wanted to quit in a press conference. Rooney released a statement refuting claims he wanted to leave for a bigger pay rise elsewhere, insisting it was down to ambition.

Just two days after his statement, the former England captain signed a new five-year deal with United.

Fast forward to May 2013 and Rooney was involved in another transfer saga.

He was left out of Ferguson’s final home match at Old Trafford and when asked about the omission, the Scot replied: “I don’t think Wayne was keen to play, simply because he has asked for a transfer.”

Amid strong transfer interest from Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, new Red Devils boss David Moyes managed to keep Rooney, who agreed a new £300,000-per-week contract in February 2014.

Sir Alex Ferguson was able to stop Wayne Rooney lea

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Sir Alex Ferguson was able to stop Wayne Rooney lea

Peter Odemwingie (West Brom)

After criticising West Brom on social media, Odemwingie’s proposed move to Premier League strugglers QPR spectacularly failed in January 2013.

The striker drove down to QPR’s training ground in an attempt to push through a move. He had never been given permission to speak to QPR from West Brom.

Speaking after the chaotic events, then-Baggies boss Steve Clarke dubbed Odemwingie’s trip to QPR ‘total lunacy’.

He was used sparingly by Clarke for the remainder of the season before moving to Cardiff for £2.25million in the summer.

Peter Odemwingie was booed by a section of his own fans after his move to QPR collapsed

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Peter Odemwingie was booed by a section of his own fans after his move to QPR collapsed

Marko Arnautovic (West Ham)

On Monday, Arnautovic sealed a £23million move to Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG – but it was second time lucky for the Austria star.

Arnautovic tried to leave the London Stadium in January following interest from an unnamed Chinese club, who were offering him a lucrative contract.

West Ham insisted the 30-year-old was not for sale, and he ended speculation by signing a contract extension.

But Arnautovic’s form dipped in the second half of the season as he managed just three Premier League goals.

Now that he’s officially gone, West Ham will need to replace him before the start of the 2019/20 campaign.

Marko Arnautovic tried to move to China in January

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Marko Arnautovic tried to move to China in January

Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

After years of selling top stars such as Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri, Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas, Arsene Wenger was under huge pressure not to part ways with Sanchez in the summer of 2017.

Manchester City submitted a £60million bid for the Chile international, but Arsenal stayed firm because they didn’t have a replacement lined up.

Sanchez ended up joining City’s rivals Manchester United less than five months later.

Alexis Sanchez was targeted by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City two summers ago

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Alexis Sanchez was targeted by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City two summers ago

Diego Costa (Chelsea)

Costa fell out with Antonio Conte and his backroom staff after being the subject of a £30million bid from a Chinese Super League club in January 2017.

The Spaniard had helped the Blues to the top of the table before having his head turned by China.

He was dropped from the squad for their game against Leicester on Janaury 14, before returning to face Hull a week later.

Despite helping Chelsea to a Premier League title, Costa’s relationship with Conte was never the same, and the striker left the club for Atletico Madrid in the summer.

Diego Costa played an integral role in Chelsea’s 2016/17 Premier League title win

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Diego Costa played an integral role in Chelsea’s 2016/17 Premier League title win

Matteo Darmian (Manchester United)

It’s quite easy to forget that Darmian is still a Manchester United player.

Since arriving from Torino in 2015, the Italy full-back has struggled to hold a regular starting place under Louis van Gaal, Mourinho and Solskjaer.

Darmian expressed his desire to move last summer, but Mourinho refused to sell him.

The 29-year-old said: “I want to play more regularly. Last season, I didn’t play much, that’s my objective and my ambition.

“That’s why I spoke with the manager and also with the club about my future. I want to leave but we will see what happens because we don’t know.”

Darmian featured just three times under Solskjaer last term, and following the £50million signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, he will surely leave this summer.

Matteo Darmian is out of favour at Manchester United

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Matteo Darmian is out of favour at Manchester United

Idrissa Gueye (Everton)

Despite handing in a transfer request in January, Everton stopped Gueye from joining Paris Saint-Germain in January.

But it seems the midfielder is still holding out hope for a ‘dream’ move to the French capital.

In February, he said: “It is a dream that sadly did not come true. Every player works to join the best teams, to play in matches in the Champions League.

“But I was honoured that PSG were interested in me. Now, I know that I am of interest to these types of clubs, I am ready to go to the final level to join a top European club.

“I am going to work even more so that they come back to me. Maybe it is not finished with PSG.”

Idrissa Gueye is still keen to join PSG

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Idrissa Gueye is still keen to join PSG

David de Gea (Manchester United)

De Gea was so close to completing a switch to Real Madrid in August 2015, which would have seen Keylor Navas go the other way.

The Spain goalkeeper was dropped for Manchester Untied’s first six games of the season amid Real Madrid’s interest.

However, a deal to the LaLiga giants collapsed after paperwork was not submitted before the transfer window closed in Spain.

Subsequently, De Gea was restored to United’s starting XI and signed a new four-year deal less than a month later.

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Published at Tue, 09 Jul 2019 08:00:25 +0000

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