Top 5 transfer hijacks in Premier League history

In honour of Chelsea potentially hijacking Arsenal’s transfer of Raphinha from Leeds, here are five other memorable transfer hijacks in Premier League history.

Chelsea are reportedly on course to sign Brazilian winger Raphinha from Leeds United after reaching an agreement on the transfer fee said to be around £60/65 million plus add-ons.

The deal is now pending an agreement on personal terms between Chelsea and the player and it comes across as a big surprise because the Blues had not previously been linked with Raphinha.

The skilful Brazilian joined Leeds United from Stade Rennes in 2020 and has made 66 appearances for the club in that period, returning 17 goals and 11 assists, thus leading to him being strongly linked with Arsenal, Barcelona and Tottenham this summer.

Chelsea have reportedly agreed a deal in principle for Raphinha

But now with Chelsea stealing in ahead of the competition to snatch Raphinha under everyone’s noses without prior warning, here are five other times something similar has happened in the Premier League… PS, Chelsea does this a lot.

Tottenham paid for Petit to join Arsenal

As dramatic as that subheading sounds, it actually happened but it wasn’t a lot of money, Tottenham transported French legend Emmanuel Petit from Monaco to North London for a signing.
Emmanuel Petit ditched Tottenham to join Arsenal in 1997

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The problem is, Petit got intercepted by Arsenal, the more reputable North London club and was convinced by manager Arsene Wenger, his compatriot whom he had previously worked with at Monaco.

Petit himself confirmed the story in 2018, “It was the first time I met David Dein and Tottenham paid for the cab to help me sign for Arsenal.”

Chelsea stealing Mikel Obi from Manchester United

Manchester United announced the signing of young Nigerian superstar Mikel Obi in 2005 along with a picture of the player in a United kit which should make it all official, right?

John Obi Mikel caused a transfer dispute between Manchester United

The Red Devils weren’t expecting to be usurped by English rivals Chelsea who revealed that they had a prior agreement with Mikel and that United signed him illegally.

A year of drama ensued and FIFA had to step, making Chelsea pay £12 million in compensation to Manchester United aside from the transfer fee, Mikel was free to join Chelsea in 2006.

John Obi Mikel signed for Chelsea in 2006

Roman Abramovich outplays Daniel Levy

In the summer of August, Tottenham agreed to a £30 million fee with Anzhi Makhachkala for the transfer of Willian and even had a medical for the player, it all seemed wrapped up.

That was until Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich found out and immediately reached out to the owner of Anzhi, a fellow Russian oligarch and hijacked the deal.

Chelsea signed Willian after the Brazilian was on his way to Tottenham

Chelsea paid £35 million and signed Willian using Tottenham’s medical which led to weeks of crying (not literally) from the Tottenham camp.

Alexis Sanchez chose the wrong Manchester club

“Glory glory Man United!!!” was the song playing on Alexis Sanchez’s piano at his Manchester United unveiling in 2018 having joined from Arsenal but the transfer turned out to be anything but glorious.

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Alexis Sanchez was in talks with Manchester City until United came along

Sanchez had been in contact with Manchester City for six months but they backed out of the deal because of his large salary demands and their city rivals United saw it as an opportunity.

Manchester United matched his demands and believed they had just pulled one over their rivals but it turned out to be a monumental mistake and Sanchez remains one of the biggest flops in football history.

Siiiuuuu in Manchester

The most recent Premier League hijack was also between both Manchester clubs as Cristiano Ronaldo got set to leave Juventus last summer.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in his first match since rejoining Manchester United

The legendary Portuguese forward left Turin and was on his way to Manchester, the oil-rich Blue side, the direct rivals of his beloved Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson and the powers that be at Manchester United wouldn’t let that happen as they intercepted the deal and convinced Ronaldo to come to Old Trafford instead, completing an emotional return to his former club.

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