Since January 2020, the world has been coping with a deadly pathogen called the coronavirus. Football, which drives one of the most flawless cash machines in the world, has also been severely affected by the pandemic and even had to shut its shop for months.
Months of planning later, all major footballing authorities greenlit the resumption of the greatest sport, but normalcy still remains a distant dream. Without fans — and subsequent merchandise sales — the clubs are struggling to make ends meet, forcing even the biggest institutions to stay put.
The summer transfer market, which is usually populated with blockbuster deals, was abnormally quiet in 2020. No one was prepared to admit it, of course, but economic stagnation was the driving force behind such an unusual summer.
Today, we’ll talk about five transfers that just couldn’t materialise over the summer.
#5 Victor Moses to Inter Milan
Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan believe they have the firepower to take the fight to defending champions, Juventus, and aren’t leaving any stone unturned to get themselves on the podium. Falling in line with the sentiment, Conte asked Inter to sign Victor Moses from Chelsea.
Both parties were eager to complete the move, but Radja Naiggolan’s failed transfer to Cagliari forced Inter to pull the plug.
Moses, who spent the second half of the 2019/20 campaign on loan at Inter from Chelsea, played as a wing-back — a position that can be currently occupied by four players in Inter’s squad.
#4 Javi Martinez to Athletic Bilbao
Over the better part of the last decade, Javi Martinez managed to become a cult figure at Bayern Munich. So, when the parties revealed the imminent move back to Athletic Bilbao, heartfelt farewell messages started to pour in.
Bayern’s official social media channel even posted a farewell video after Martinez scored the winner in the UEFA Super Cup. Surprisingly, the move fell through in the closing moments due to a dispute in pricing.
As per reports, Bayern were even prepared to part ways with the player for €8 million, but Athletic, in the end, couldn’t even manage the negligible amount.
#3 David Silva to Lazio
“I’ve heard about David Silva’s transfer to Real Sociedad. I have huge respect for the player but not for the man,” Lazio sporting director, Igli Tare, told reporters in late August; hours after the Spaniard officially agreed to play for La Liga outfit Real Sociedad.
David Silva, after spending a decade at Manchester City, became a free agent at the end of the 2019/20 campaign. Lazio were in regular contact with the player and even reportedly offered him a three-year contract worth €10 million.
Unfortunately for Lazio, Real Sociedad, swooped in with a more suitable two-year contract to woo the player back to Spain.
#2 Memphis Depay to Barcelona
After managing to keep hold of Lionel Messi, Barcelona went into the transfer market to fetch a capable partner for Antoine Griezmann.
New coach, Ronald Koeman, pointed the club in Memphis Depay’s direction. The Lyon ace ultimately had to stay put, but the matter could still take shape sooner than later.
Depay believes that timing was the only factor that kept the clubs from agreeing to a contract. So, when the winter transfer window comes about, he expects the clubs to pick up where they left off in the summer.
#1 Jadon Sancho to Manchester United
After somehow managing to book a Champions League spot, Manchester United hoped to put their best foot forward this season. The Red Devils earmarked Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho as the perfect man for the job and reportedly went all out to get him on their books.
The player, too, was eager to experience the grandeur of Manchester United and asked his agent to force a move through.
Despite the strong pushback, Borussia Dortmund affirmed that Sancho was their player and that he wouldn’t be moving — at least in the summer transfer window.
Given Manchester United’s recent struggles, we expect them to go all out for the player, once again, in the next transfer window.