Football

Transfer deadline day of 2008 was a great one

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Even if Manchester United do sign a new striker, even if Arsenal do break their silence to do something stunning and even if Chelsea finally land John Stones, no transfer deadline day is yet to beat the memorable frenzy of on this day seven years ago. 

It was the day that changed the Premier League forever. Manchester City fans awoke to learn that their club was suddenly one of the richest in world football. And immediately they got to work on revolutionising the English game for years to come. 

The day started - and ended - with talk of the summers biggest saga (sound familiar.) However unlike David De Gea, Dimitar Berbatov got his wish to join one of the biggest clubs in world football. United won the race, but it was the manner of which they did it that made the day so memorable for all involved.

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The morning

Football fans begun their day like normal, but quickly found themselves using any given opportunity to monitor ongoings at all of the clubs around the globe.

Berbatov was expected to finally sign for United without any stress or hassle, whilst Chelsea were meant to tie up the signing of Robinho from Real Madrid despite the Spaniards having missed out on signing Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Yet then the news broke that Manchester City were rich. Extremely rich. Rich enough to buy Ronaldo, to buy Kaka, to even try for Lionel Messi. But first - with their rivals haggling for a fee with Tottenham - they went for Berbatov.

Manager Mark Hughes quickly agreed a fee with Spurs and the player was allowed to travel to the Etihad (then the City of Manchester) stadium for a medical. United it appeared had been blown out of the water. Allowing Louis Saha to join Everton had Sir Alex Ferguson looking surprisingly naive.

The afternoon

But then the Scot has never been one to take defeat lying down. Ferguson travelled to Manchester airport to meet Berbatov and - despite not being allowed to do so - took the Bulgarian to Carrington in order to help thrash out a deal with Spurs.

It was at that point where a baffled City begun to examine their options. There was talk of a move for Valencia's David Villa - but the clubs hierarchy quickly decided they needed to send out a statement. Luis Felipe Scolari's pursuit of Robinho was hitting a roadblock, so in they swooped to steal him instead.

Meanwhile Everton continued their shrewd transfer business by tying up a deal for Standard Liege midfielder Marouane Fellaini. The big Belgian joined Saha and goalkeeper Carlo Nash as David Moyes strengthened his squad right at the last minute.

The evening

With Berbatov's destination unknown, Tottenham refused to hang about and signed Russian forward Roman Pavlyuchenko from Spartak Moscow. Then, finally, it was official that United were in fact allowed to complete the signing of their Bulgarian talisman. 

But by that point, City knew they were losing that particular battle. Yet their efforts to sign Robinho were far more successful, with the Brazilian becoming the first stellar signing of the Sheikh Mansour era. 

Ultimately, the day concluded with Berbatov beaming with his name emblazoned on the famous red shirt. United won, City won, Everton won, Spurs won, Chelsea lost and Arsenal weren't even involved. 

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