A transfer is not final until an official announcement is made by the clubs or they put out a photo of the player in the new team’s colors. As football fans, we know this way too well. Deals that were reported to have been sealed have gotten hijacked far too often of late for us to really trust any of our sources anymore.
We’ve seen quite a handful of transfer hijackings this summer as well. Top clubs have swooped in at the last minute to throw a spanner in the works of others and get the player they want. It’s a terrible feeling for any club and their fans to see another club steal a player from right under their nose.
But fate can be really cruel at times. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the five biggest transfer hijacks of this summer.
#5 Tyrell Malacia – Olympique Lyon’s move hijacked by Manchester United
Olympique Lyon had reached an agreement of €13 million (+€2 million in add-ons) with Feyenoord for their left-back Tyrell Malacia. Fabrizio Romano even gave his ‘Here we go’ to the deal. But Manchester United stepped in and stole the young left-back from under Lyon’s nose.
They placed a €15 million (+€2 million in add-ons) to Feyenoord. Subsequently, Lyon raised their offer by a million but Malacia had made up his mind by then and informed the Ligue 1 outfit that he had chosen to join Manchester United.
#4 Gleison Bremer – Inter Milan’s move hijacked by Juventus
25-year-old centre-back Gleison Bremer was named ‘Serie A Defender of the Year’ in the 2021-22 season. The former Torino centre-back was reported to have agreed personal terms with Inter Milan all the way back in January 2022.
However, due to their financial woes, Inter Milan had to sell a few players before they finalized a deal for Bremer. They waited and waited and that eventually led to Juventus hijacking the deal.
On July 19, Fabrizio Romano reported that Juventus had reached a full agreement with Torino for the 25-year-old for a sum of €40 million + add-ons. The Brazilian centre-back has now signed a five-year deal with the Bianconeri.
#3 Lisandro Martinez – Arsenal’s move hijacked by Manchester United
The Premier League giants have a history of hijacking one another’s transfer deals. The latest addition to this list is former Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez. The Gunners had turned in as many as three bids for the Argentina international.
Their first bid of €31 million was rejected. So they returned with a €40 million bid which was also rebuffed by the Dutch outfit. Arsenal then placed another bid with more add-ons but Ajax weren’t exactly ready to commit to the offer. That’s when Manchester United came in with a fatter cheque.
The Red Devils offered a package worth €55 million and secured Martinez’s services. The 24-year-old’s former boss at Ajax, Erik ten Hag, proved to be a decisive factor in the transfer.
Arsenal fans were left miffed with the way their club dilly-dallied and eventually missed out on one of the most versatile players in Europe.
#2 Raphinha – Chelsea’s move hijacked by Barcelona
On June 29, Fabrizio Romano reported that Chelsea had reached an agreement with Leeds United for their winger Raphinha. They had agreed to pay a sum in the ballpark of €70 million for the Brazilian winger. However, they were still waiting for Raphinha to greenlight the move.
Barcelona were very much interested in Raphinha at that point. But they were expected to be priced out of the deal due to Leeds United’s asking price. However, two weeks later, Fabrizio Romano reported that Barcelona had reached a full agreement with Leeds United to sign Raphinha.
They would pay €58 million in fixed fees plus another €9 million in add-ons. It was also reported that Raphinha only wanted Barcelona and that’s why he kept stalling despite Chelsea trying to lure him to Stamford Bridge.
#1 Jules Kounde – Chelsea’s move hijacked by Barcelona
We don’t know how they manage to do it but Barcelona keep making high-profile signings despite navigating a financial crisis. Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde had become one of the most sought-after young defenders in Europe heading into this summer’s transfer window.
Having lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers, Chelsea were desperate to bolster their defence. After signing Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, Chelsea shifted their attention to Kounde. They even reached an agreement with Sevilla, as per CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs.
Even Fabrizio Romano reported on July 20 that Chelsea and Sevilla were in talks about how to structure the €55 million deal. The expectation was that after signing Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona wouldn’t be able to match Chelsea’s offer.
But that’s exactly what the Catalans did. Fabrizio Romano has given his ‘Here We Go’ to Barcelona signing Jules Kounde. They have reached an agreement with Sevilla for Kounde and the Frenchman will sign a contract worth €6 million annually.