Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Man Utd 'missed out on Ronaldo and Mahrez', Arsenal 'offered Alexis to Real Madrid'

Kevin Darling
Sanchez, Ronaldo, Mahrez

For the measly 12 cash deals involving Premier League clubs that actually happened on deadline day, including such superstars as Marvin Zeegelaar and Ezequiel Schelotto, there were at least another 100 transfers that could have happened but didn’t, for a variety of reasons. And some of those reasons are still coming to light.

For instance, remember when Riyad Mahrez was given special permission to take a break from international duty with Algeria so he could go “back to Europe” and seal a £45m transfer deal with his “new club”? And then was named in Leicester’s 25-man squad the next day?

Well, the Daily Star Sunday reveals he was on his way to Old Trafford to seal a big-money move to Manchester United. And then, well, didn’t.

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The former PFA Player of the Year’s representatives were apparently trying to “force through a move” to the Red Devils after noticing that Jose Mourinho had failed to agree a deal with Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic, and must therefore be in need of a winger.

And maybe he was, but it evidently wasn’t Mahrez, because the Algerian’s dash to the north-west turned out to be a complete waste of time.

Even more upsetting is the Sunday Times’ claim that Man Utd “missed out” on re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo this summer because Kylian Mbappe’s dad “raised concerns” about the prospect of CR7 quitting Real Madrid. Not that it was really any of his business.

Zidane said ‘no’ to Alexis deal

Another spectacular transfer we were deprived of on Thursday was Alexis Sanchez moving to the Bernabeu.

The Sunday Express – via esteemed Spanish nonsense peddlers Don Balon – reports that the Gunners offered their star player to the Real Madrid after his move to Manchester City collapsed.

Sadly for them, Real boss Zinedine Zidane “emphatically and surprisingly said no” because he viewed the Chilean as a “luxury signing”. And bang went £69m from Arsenal’s coffers.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror has got very excited revealing the “staggering offer” Jack Wilshere rejected on deadline day – namely, a loan move to from Arsenal to Championship side Birmingham City that would have earned him a “staggering” £90,000 a week.

They seemed to forgotten that he can also earn that amount just by staying at Arsenal, even if he doesn’t play (and anyway he’ll probably get some games when the Gunners’ standard Christmas injury crisis kicks in).

Diego Costa was another who defied the odds to stay with Chelsea despite being repeatedly tipped to leave, but it appears the feisty striker won’t play be playing much unless the Blues have some fixtures near his house in Brazil, where he is currently holed up and refusing to leave.

The Mail on Sunday says Diego’s prospective next employers Atletico Madrid have urged him to “return from exile” – presumably because they don’t want him to get too fat before they buy him in January.

Elsewhere, Everton’s Ross Barkley is determined to move to Tottenham and is set for a “cut-price move” to the north London club – music to Daniel Levy’s ears no doubt (Sunday Mirror) Angel Di Maria saw a deadline day move to Barcelona break down because Paris Saint-Germain demanded £64m for him (Sunday People) and Jonny Evans says he really, really happy to stay at West Brom after the Baggies rejected an offer from Manchester City that would have earned the centre-back loads of money and seen him challenging for the Champions League (Birmingham Mail). We believe you, Jonny.

@darlingkevin