The 15 Players That The Premier League Failed to Sign

The Premier League is widely regarded as the best league in the world. It generates the most money from Tv rights, sponsors and it is the most watched and followed worldwide. The past few seasons have seen players leaving Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Eredvise and La Liga Sagres to name a few in favor of the Premier League. We are not here to argue the endless discussion whether the Premier League is in fact the world’s best league or not. A surprisingly huge number of players have rejected to join the EPL in favor of destinations elsewhere this summer. We made a research to find out that over 25 players have rejected bids from EPL in favor of signing for teams elsewhere. We will take a look at the top 15 of those players.

15. Beñat Etxebarria

Signed for: Athletic Bilbao
Signed from: Real Betis
Rejected: Newcastle United

Newcastle were targeting the Basque midfielder and monitoring him all last season and they were expected to make a move for him this summer to bolster their midfield but with Joe Kinnear making drama at the Toon, the 26-year-old player decided to return to his hometown club Athletic Bilbao for €8 million.

14. David Villa

Signed for: Atletico Madrid
Signed from: Barcelona
Rejected: Tottenham Hotspurs

David Villa or ‘El Guaje’ is widely known as one of the most prolific strikers in Spain. He has shown his abilities as a top scorer ever since he was with Sporting Gijon passing through Real Zaragoza, Valencia and Barcelona. Following injuries that hindered his career at Barcelona, the player decided to look for pastures new where he can regain his form and return to the Spanish national team ahead of World Cup 2014. Although Tottenham offered more money in terms of transfer fees and salaray, he eventually signed for Atletico Madrid for a fee of €5.1 million.

13. Kevin Strootman

Signed for: Roma
Signed from: PSV Eindhoven
Rejected: Manchester United

 David Moyes outlined the need for a midfielder early this summer and his list included Kevin Strootman, PSV’s Dutch player was highly rated by the club and they assumed that they have no competition for his signature but eventually Roma phoned the player and a personal discussion between the player and Roma’s new coach Rudi Garcia convinced the player of the club’s ambitions and he opted to sign for the club that Manchester United had defeated 7-1 a few seasons ago for a figure around €18 million.

12. Marcos ‘Marquinhos’ Aoas

Signed for: Paris Saint-Germain
Signed from: Roma
Rejected: Manchester United

Roma signed him just last summer for a figure of €3 million, he received the faith of coach Zdenek Zeman form the first day and established himself as one of the best defenders in Italy earning him a €35 million move to the French capital a sum that Manchester United could not match as they missed out on the central defender.

11. Asier Illaramendi

Signed for: Real Madrid
Signed from: Real Sociedad
Rejected: Arsenal

The third Northern Spanish player joins the list, he enjoyed a great season last term as he helped guide Real Sociedad to the Champions League while he also won the Euro U-21 with the Spanish national team. A gifted holding midfielder who can dictate the tempo of the game, Arsenal were tracking him since a long time and they looked ready to sign him this summer. Arsenal offered €15 million for him but it was quite low compared to the bid Real Madrid placed and he eventually moved to the Spanish capital after Real Sociedad accepted a €32 million bid.

10. Francisco Roman ‘Isco’ Suarez

Signed for: Real Madrid
Signed from: Malaga
Rejected: Manchester City

Ever since he left Valencia Isco grew as a player at Malaga eventually starring in the Champions League and La Liga catching the eyes of many, though a move to Manchester City seemed on the cards as the manager who got the best out of him at Malaga, Manuel Pellegrini, wanted to reunite with the player in Manchester but Carlo Ancelotti competed for him and made him his first signing as a Real Madrid coach for €30 million.

9. Joao Moutinho

Signed for: AS Monaco
Signed from: FC Porto
Rejected: Tottenham Hotspurs

The saga of Moutinho to Tottenham began ever since Andre Villas Boas, the manager who lead FC Porto to a Europa League title, joined Tottenham as a manager. Villas Boas wanted his former player to join him in England but the move never materialized while Franco Baldini was said to be able to seal the move but Baldini joined Tottenham quite late as a director, Moutinho had already signed for AS Monaco for a staggering combined fee of €70 million for him and fellow team-mate James Rodriguez.

8. Thiago Alcantara

Signed for: Bayern Munich
Signed from: Barcelona
Rejected: Manchester United

It seemed all settled, David Moyes was hailed for managing to find one of the best upcoming midfielders available on the market and the media stated that the Barcelona starlet is leaving the club with Manchester as his destination but a small twist happened. Pep Guardiola flirted with his former player and seduced him to join him at Bayern Munich with promises of regular football.

7. James Rodriguez

Signed for: AS Monaco
Signed from: FC Porto
Rejected: Manchester United

A target for Manchester United, James Rodriguez did not take long to accept a move to recently promoted French side AS Monaco. Moving along with his fellow team-mate combined fee of €70 happened quickly and quite early in the summer. Sir Alex Ferguson wanted the winger but he waited last season to sell Nani to Zenit Saint Petersburg, the move never formalized and Manchester aimed to sign him again this year in case they succeeded in selling Nani but they were a bit too late and lost out on the player.

6. Gonzalo Higuain

Signed for: Napoli
Signed from: Real Madrid
Rejected: Arsenal

As soon as the transfer window was opened, Arsenal were quick to move and were ready to spend a lot of money, a deal was reportedly struck with Real Madrid and Gonzalo Higuain only needed to complete his medical to officially sign for the club. The medical never came, the days went on and on without further advances between the two sides and eventually Napoli sold Edinson Cavani to PSG and signed Higuain with no competition whatsoever from the London club. His transfer fee may be quite overpriced but still whoever has Higauin this season on his side is definitely going to benefit.

5. Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Signed for: Borussia Dortmund
Signed from: Shakhtar Donetsk
Rejected: Liverpool

Henrikh, the best football player in Armenia’s history has had his best season last term scoring plenty of goals for both club and country in European competitions as well as domestic ones. Liverpool were among the first clubs to be linked with him and it was said that they were ready to pay €25 million for him but Champions League finalists paid €27.5 million for him and made him their biggest every signing leaving Liverpool empty handed.

4. Mario Gotze

Signed for: Bayern Munich
Signed from: Borussia Dortmund
Rejected: Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal

Widely known as one of Germany’s most talented player in the recent era, Gotze has lead his club Borussia Dortmund to a champions league final against the club he signed for while Premier League clubs were waiting for summer to start their biddings, Bayern Munich moved swiftly and met his €37 million release clause making him the most expensive German player ever.

3. Edinson Cavani

Signed for: PSG
Signed from: Napoli
Rejected: Manchester City and Chelsea

Cavani’s time at Napoli came at to an end last season and everyone knew it especially Napoli boss Aurelio De Laurentis but the president wanted to sell him for the right price and although Chelsea and Manchester City came knocking with huge offers it was only PSG who met the €63 million price tag and even the striker it was a shock for him to move to the French capital. Cavani had scored 78 goals for Napoli in between 2010 and 2013, numbers that show the player is one of the best finishers in the world.

2. Neymar Junior

Signed for: FC Barcelona
Signed from: Santos
Rejected: Manchester City & Chelsea

David Luiz was urging his Brazilian team-mate to join him at Chelsea and Manchester City showed the player their money but Neymar chose to play alongside Messi. Catalan club, Barcelona signed him for a figure of €57 million slightly more than half of what Manchester City offered but yet enough to attract the player.

1. Radamel Falcao

Signed for: AS Monaco
Signed from:  Atletico Madrid
Rejected: Manchester City & Chelsea

Clearly he was one of the best five players last season in Europe, his goals spoke for him and while British media were arguing whether Manchester City or Chelsea are the preferred destination, the Columbian went on and signed for the team that splashed the money in front of him, AS Monaco. All stories about Jose Mourinho wanting to reunite him with Hulk at Chelsea were dismissed as the player took the path of Ligue 1 for €60 million.


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