Every so often when the transfer window rolls around, fans of their respective clubs eagerly wait, just hoping their side will make the next big-name signing. A player who will step in and make all the difference for the team, maybe one day leading them to glory.
In pursuit of such players, sometimes we see managers make desperate bids, either offering enormous and unwarranted amounts of money or so little it becomes laughable and insulting to the player and club in question.
In this list, we take a closer look at some of the strangest offers made by clubs that leave you wondering if they were really serious.
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Basingstoke Town: Ronaldinho
Possibly one of the most bizarre transfer bids in history was made by the sixth-tier English side, Basingstoke Town, who attempted to sign Brazilian legend and Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldinho in 2014. Even more audacious was the fact the club tried to bring in Ronaldinho for free after he cancelled his contract with Brazilian club, Atlético Mineiro.
Understandably, Ronaldinho turned down the offer, opting to join Mexican side, Querétaro on a two-year contract. He enjoyed a good spell at the club, helping his team reach the semi-final of the Liga MX playoffs.
FC Borne: Lionel Messi
Not many people would have heard of French side, FC Borne. Likely, no one outside of the small village knows of their existence, considering the area’s measly population of 500 citizens. Yet, they tried to sign arguably the greatest player of all time, Lionel Messi in 2011.
President of the French club, Cédric Enjolras submitted the offer which was subsequently intercepted by the French Football Federation, who did not take the matter lightly. Enjolras - despite insisting the offer was a joke - was suspended for six months following the incident, with the federation failing to see the humour in the matter.
A.C. Perugia Calcio: Birgit Prinz
Back in 2003, Italian side A.C. Perugia Calcio attempted to sign female World Cup winner, Birgit Prinz. Club president, Luciano Gaucci, sought to make Prinz the first female footballer to play for a men’s side, seeing as the regulations at the time did not prohibit this.
Despite the hopeful attempt, Prinz turned down the offer, choosing to stay in women’s football where she continued on to win a second World Cup for Germany in 2007.
FK Orn Kristiania: David Beckham
Before the final move of David Beckham’s career to Paris Saint-Germain in 2013, the English footballer received a strange offer from Norwegian eighth-division club, FK Orn Kristiania.
The club offered Beckham the number seven jersey in addition to a club sports bag. As tempting as that offer may have been, Beckham was feeling more charitable, who after moving to PSG decided to donate his entire club salary to a local children’s fund.