8 controversially hijacked transfers as Chelsea poach Mudryk with Arsenal gutted
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Chelsea's hijacking of Arsenal transfer target Mykhaylo Mudryk came as a shock to all football fans this weekend.
The Ukrainian winger had been strongly linked with a move to north London, even posting cryptic messages on social media that suggested he wanted to join Mikel Arteta's side.
But Blues owner Todd Boehly capitalised on Arsenal's unwillingness to meet Shakhtar Donetsk's hefty asking price by making it his personal mission to poach Mudryk away.
READ MORE: Chelsea 'reach agreement' with Shakhtar over Mykhailo Mudryk despite Arsenal 'priority'
Chelsea reached an agreement to sign the 22-year-old for a fee of £89million, with the player undergoing his medical today (Sunday).
And while the saga left fans of both sides stunned, it was far from the first time that a club has pipped their rivals to a signing. Daily Star Sport brings you seven other transfers that were hijacked at the death.
Raphinha – Chelsea
Do you think Chelsea needed to sign Mudryk? Let us know in the comments section.
That’s right. Boehly and Chelsea nearly bested Arsenal just months before stealing Mudryk from under their noses.
Brazilian ace Raphinha caught the attention of Arsenal boss Arteta after a dazzling season for Leeds United. Arsenal were closing in on their target in the summer until new Blues owner Boehly came out swinging with a bigger offer.
Raphinha would have likely joined the Stamford Bridge side if his dream club Barcelona hadn’t come knocking. He eventually ended the dizzying transfer saga by signing for the Catalans for a £55m fee.
Jesse Lingard – Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest’s long-awaited return to the Premier League was marked by the club making a whopping 22 signings last summer, with Jesse Lingard being one of the biggest arrivals.
West Ham manager David Moyes was keen to reunite with Lingard but the east London club were unwilling to meet his huge wage demands. And while the Hammers stalled, Forest swept in to offer Lingard a £200,000-per-week contract.
Willian – Chelsea
By now you should recognise that Chelsea are masters of the transfer hijack. Their most notable instance of poaching came with Willian in 2013.
The Brazilian seemed all set to join Tottenham Hotspur and even underwent his medical at White Hart Lane. But Blues boss Jose Mourinho was not about to let Chelsea be bested when it came to securing Willian’s signature.
The legendary Portuguese manager swooped in to steal the winger from their London rivals in the 11th hour. Chelsea fans even made a song about the whole thing.
Robinho – Manchester City
Another Brazilian winger at the centre of a stunning hijack was Robinho. The skilful Robinho was all set to join Chelsea after the Blues announced they had agreed personal terms – they had even started printing shirts with his name.
But in a remarkable twist, City blindsided Chelsea by signing Robinho with just hours left in the transfer window. As such, the skilful forward became the first big signing of City’s new era.
Jorginho – Chelsea
Prime s***housery from Chelsea in the summer of 2018 saw them exact revenge on City. The central-midfielder was reportedly on his way to Manchester City when his former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri joined Chelsea, prompting the Italian to have a change of heart.
“I wasn’t supposed to come to Chelsea, man. I was supposed to have arrived at another club. Another English club. But it’s not a secret. If you put it on the internet, you find it. It’s Manchester City," Jorginho later revealed.
It’s not all bad news for Jorginho though, with the midfielder winning a Champions League trophy with the London side, something which has so far eluded Pep Guardiola.
Eusebio – Benfica
In the early 1960s, Benfica's boss Bela Guttmann was tipped off about an extraordinary talent in Mozambique after a chance meeting in the barbers.
There was just one problem, the player in question, Eusebio, played for Lourenco Marques – Sporting Lisbon's feeder club. But that wasn't going to stop Guttmann, and the club whisked Eusebio over to Portugal with a fake name and pitched him up in a hotel.
After short negotiations with his mum, Eusebio was a Benfica player, and things turned out well in the end.
Roy Keane – Manchester United
Roy Keane is a certified Manchester United legend, and it's hard to imagine Sir Alex Ferguson's side without the Irish hardman ever commanding the midfield.
That very nearly was the case as free-spending Blackburn Rovers moved in for the then Forest star. Keane had shaken hands with Kenny Dalglish, and a move to Lancashire seemed to be a matter of hours away for the Irishman.
But a game of snooker with Sir Alex convinced Keane that Old Trafford should be his new home.
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