Rooney, Reina and the five biggest transfers that never were

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After Pepe Reina's revelations in his autobiography released this week, that he came close to joining Barclays Premier League rivals Arsenal in the summer of 2010, GMF considers the five biggest domestic transfers that never happened...

5. Pepe Reina - Liverpool to Arsenal [July 2010]

The Spanish stopper's head was turned by Arsenal when he returned from Spain's World Cup victory celebrations last year to find Liverpool in crisis.

With Rafa Benitez sacked, and Hicks and Gillett clinging on to power, the running of the club had been left to managing director Christian Purslow, who was trying to find new owners.

"I went from elation one minute to depression the next as the realisation dawned that Liverpool were going nowhere fast," Reina revealed.

"When I signed my contract in April 2010 I hoped that better times were just around the corner, a feeling that was fuelled by the promises of improvement from people at the club. It didn't take me long to feel that their promises were hollow. I felt betrayed.

"Arsenal had made their determination to sign me clear by offering £20m, a phenomenal amount for a goalkeeper. Part of me felt that I was well within my rights to consider my future even if I did so with a heavy heart.

"When Liverpool received the bid, they rejected it," he continued. "This was not because I had been told that I was too good a keeper to leave. The reason I was given was quite different - and it left me feeling down.

"I was told that my continued presence was crucial to the sale of the club. I was simply a bargaining chip in the sales process."

4. Luka Modric - Tottenham to Chelsea [June-Aug 2011]

It was one of the most talked about, and highly-anticipated transfers of the summer, and after the Croatian playmaker submitted a transfer request at White Hart Lane, everybody thought it was only a matter of time before Modric swapped north London for west.

Tottenham's failure to qualify for the UEFA Champions League last year was said to be the deciding factor as Modric revealed in June.

"I would like to go to Chelsea. A lot of players would like to go there and play for Chelsea because it is one of the best clubs in the world, and so do I.

"It's a short period [your career] and you want to fulfil your personal ambitions as a football player, win trophies, play Champions League football every year."

However, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy insisted from the outset that Modric would not be sold at any price, and the fact that he had only recently signed a new six-year contract, meant that there was no doubt his future remained at Tottenham.


3. Alan Shearer - Blackburn/Newcastle to Manchester United [1992 and 1996]

Alan Shearer revealed in an interview with FourFourTwo in January that he turned down a move to Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson took too long to sign him, which resulted in his move to Blackburn Rovers.

"There was interest from Manchester United, but I was told I had to wait three or four weeks for them to get the money together," he said. "I felt if they really wanted me then they would come and get me immediately.

"I had already spoken to Blackburn and told Kenny Dalglish, Ray Harford and Jack Walker that I would give them an answer in three of four days – and my answer was yes."

Shearer again turned down the opportunity to sign for Manchester United in the summer of 1996, opting for hometown club Newcastle United instead.

2. Steven Gerrard - Liverpool to Chelsea [July 2005]

Steven Gerrard told Liverpool he wanted to leave Anfield after turning down a new £100,000-a-week contract. The plea came just days after the Reds turned down a £32million bid for their captain from Chelsea.

A club statement read: "Steven has told us he will not accept our offer of an improved and extended contract because he wants to leave."

Gerrard issued a statement of his own, which explained the reason behind his decision, indicating the club could not match his own ambitions.

"This has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make," confirmed Gerrard. "I fully intended to sign a new contract after the Champions League final, but the events of the past five to six weeks have changed all that."

1. Wayne Rooney - Manchester United to Manchester City [October 2010]

Wayne Rooney was alleged to have told his Manchester United team-mates that he would consider a move from Old Trafford to neighbours Manchester City.

After telling the club he would not be extending the 18 months that remained on his contract, due to concerns over the club's future and questioning its ambition in the transfer market.

City indicated they would be willing to pay Rooney a whopping £230,000-a-week, making him the highest paid player in the Barclays Premier League.

However, just two days later the England striker performed a u-turn and agreed a new five-year deal to stay at Manchester United, denying what would have been the biggest and most controversial domestic transfer in the history of the English top-flight.

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