World Class footballers who nearly signed to Premier League clubs!

By on December 5, 2010 - 300 views

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic firing on all cylinders in Serie A and dismissing talk of a future move to England, Clean Sheets take a look at players that have conquered both Spain and Italy but have opted out of bringing their boot bag to these shores.

Samuel Eto’o:

One of the worlds bests strikers who has won the Champions League with both Inter Milan and Barcelona, but before his move to the Camp Nou, Etoo was very close to sealing a deal with Chelsea. In 2006, Abramovich put forward a £30 million bid to try and sign the Cameroonian, but as the Catalans failed to land Henry, the deal was dead in the water. Arsene Wenger also had the opportunity to sign him as a teenger. Error made.

Fabio Cannavaro:

The Italian defender has won plenty of accolades at club and international level, but before conceding to the Qatar Riyal, in 2008 he snubbed a move to Manchester City. He told the Gazetta dello Sport that he thought playing in the Premier League would hamper his 2010 World Cup chances.

Zinedine Zidane:

Three-time Fifa World player of the year, Zidane was on the cards to move to the Premier League in 1996 but Newcastle United turned down the opportunity to sign the Frenchman. His agent at the time was quoted as saying: “I offered him to Newcastle at the beginning of the 1996 season for £1.2million. And they watched him and said that he wasn’t good enough to play in the First Division!” Even Blackburn Rovers owner Jack Walker turned his nose up at the player, stating: ‘Why would we want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?’


More commonly known now as ‘Fat Ronaldo’, the Brazilian centre-forward used to be world class before conceding to that extra cream cake. Tipped for a move to Manchester United in 2006, and then the blue side of Manchester in 2008, a City spokesman was quoted as saying: “We had shown a past interest in bringing the player to the football club in the right circumstances and spoke to him and his representatives. However, we have chosen not to pursue the matter.”

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Steve Morris

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