The winter transfer window is truly on, and a bunch of Premier League clubs are being linked with players left and right.
In this feature, we take a trip down memory lane and take a look at the five most controversial transfers from the Premier League era.
The two Argentinian players signed for West Ham from Brazilian club Corinthians in 2006 and played crucial roles in saving the Hammers from relegation that season.
However, both transfers were found to be in breach of Premier League’s third-party ownership rules. The Hammers were fined £5m by Premier League and made to pay Sheffield United, who were relegated that season, a £18m compensation.
4) John Obi Mikel (Lyn Oslo to Chelsea, 2006)
This transfer saga was the stuff of Hollywood. Mikel originally signed for Man Utd without the representations of his agent. The Red Devils announced the deal on their website with a picture of Mikel holding the club’s jersey. However, Chelsea made claims that they had already agreed on a deal with the player’s agent.
Mayhem ensued, and the Lyn Oslo’s director even claimed that Mikel had been kidnapped. However, nine days after his disappearance, he appeared on Sky Sports and claimed that he was pressurized into signing a deal with United.
Finally, Chelsea settled the case by agreeing to pay United £12m and Lyn £4m for the Nigerian midfielder.
3) William Gallas (Chelsea to Arsenal, 2006)
Gallas filed a transfer request with the Blues and failed to turn up at training following the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He eventually joined Arsenal as a part of a swap deal involving Ashley Cole. After the transfer, the Chelsea issued a statement claiming that the Frenchman had threatened to score own goals if his demands were not met.
Gallas, however, denied the claims and labelled the club as ‘very very petty’ and Roman Abramovich’s regime as ‘lacking class.’
2) Ashley Cole (Arsenal to Chelsea, 2006)
Ashley Cole rose through the youth ranks of Arsenal and was an integral part of the ‘Invincibles’. But when he refused to sign the new contract, he became a villain. According to Cole, the Gunners didn’t find offer the adequate amount of money for his services.
He became embroiled in a scandal as he supposedly agreed to move to Chelsea, a year before the actual move. He and his agent were spotted meeting Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and chief exec. Peter Kenyon in a London hotel, and he was fined £100,000 by the FA.
1) Sol Campbell (Tottenham to Arsenal, 2001)
Campbell rose through the Spurs youth ranks and was the club captain. But he became the number one enemy of the Tottenham fans when he joined local rivals Arsenal on a free transfer, after running down his contract. He went on to win two league titles with Arsenal; but his name is sung with hatred at White Hart Lane to this day.