Denying transfer speculation is becoming a recurring motif for football managers in recent years. The media often probe managers with questions about players and more often than not, managers dismiss any links with that target. Funny how within a matter of days of ruling out that potential target, the club go and sign him!
So, here are our “Top 10 Manager Transfer Denials!”:
10. Glenn Roeder denies Lupoli - Former Norwich City manager Glenn Roeder was probed about the imminent signing of former Arsenal youngster Arturo Lupoli at a pre-season friendly in 2008. The Norwich manager looked at the reporter as if he wasn’t speaking English and replied, “I don’t even know which club that player is at” – the very next day, Lupoli signed for Norwich and even said, “I spoke to the manager and I feel he really wants me here“. Really? I’m not so sure!
9. Roberto Mancini on Balotelli – When asked as to whether Balotelli would be joining A.C. Milan, Mancini repsonsed - “It is not true,” on January 28. “Mario stays. We didn’t have any requests about Mario or other players.” Even the A.C. Milan board joined the bandwagon and said, “If you place a bad apple in the dressing room then it can infect all of the others. Balotelli is someone who I would never accept in the Milan squad.” A few days later, Balotelli arrives in Milan. Deal done.
8. Arsene Wenger says Podolski won’t join – Wenger always keeps his cards close to his chest when talking about transfers. However, he was elaborate on this one as he delivered a stern message to the media, insisting that Podolski hadn’t signed, “Nothing is done, no he hasn’t had a medical” said the Frenchman. Turned out he had, and he was joining in a few days.
7. Pellegrini’s transfer to City - “I deny here and now that I am the new coach of Manchester City“, the very words of the Malaga manager on May 12 2013. A little over 3 weeks, Manchester City had a big announcement to make, “We are delighted to inform you that our new manager is Manuel Pellegrini“. Never trust a manager!
6. Warnock signs “Sewer Rat” - Remember Neil Warnock’s rant over the debatable El Hadji Diouf and how he wants him to go abroad and never see him play, well…remember when he then signed him at Leeds United? Yep! Neil Warnock likened the Senegalese international to a “sewer rat” (I think that’s a pretty big denial right there) yet, he then found himself signing the striker when he was at Leeds. Things must have been bad!
5. PSG chairman, “Cabaye?” – PSG chairman Nasser al-Khelaifi denied any knowledge of knowing Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye and insisted neither had Laurent Blanc. Yet, he then suggested Blanc was a huge fan of the French midfielder but no offer had been made. Cough up £20m and he’s in France.
4. “Why Always Me?” – It’s Balotelli again but this time, it’s current. Linked with Premier League side Arsenal, Balotelli looks set to join the London club after a number of rumours. However, Arsene Wenger has dismissed the transfer saying it’s “pure invention“. We’ve seen it before, but will we see it again? Can this be another palming off before Mario arrives? We shall see!
3. Bale going nowhere -“That is not true“, the very words of Andre Villas Boas when asked if Gareth Bale was about to become the most expensive player in the world. Unfortunately for AVB and Spurs, there was truth in it and Real Madrid swooped in for the Welshman for a staggering £85m!
2. Sir Alex Ferguson on Ronaldo – In second place is the one and only Sir Alex Ferguson. Renown for the hair-dryer treatment, Real Madrid got an ear full on their enquiry for Cristiano Ronaldo; a shame things didn’t work out though. With Madrid reportedly about to sign Ronaldo, Ferguson came out and bemoaned any such deal, “Would I get into a contract with that mob? Absolutely no chance”. The United manager added, “I wouldn’t sell them a virus – that’s a no. There’s no agreement whatsoever between the clubs”…£80m later and you’ve got yourself a deal!
1. Wenger says “I expect nobody to leave” – And in at number one is Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. This time, denying that key players Cesc Fabregas & Samir Nasri are about to leave the club. In July, 2012, Wenger made it abundantly clear as he insisted Nasri was going nowhere. The Frenchman reiterated his point later that month saying “We worked very hard with these players for years to develop them, and now it’s a time for us to keep them together”. A few weeks late, Wenger, once again denotes, “I expect nobody to leave” in relation to Fabregas and Nasri. Funny that – August 15- “Fabregas joins Barcelona“. And even better than that – August 24 – “Nasri signs for Manchester City“. Classic.