Some Big Transfer Misses as UK D-Day Sets Record

In the end, transfer deadline day in the UK was not packed with as many last-minute deals as we’ve seen from past windows. In fact, many long-muted deals did not happen at all: David De Gea is still a Manchester United player, Juve’s Paul Pogba decided not to join Chelsea, Zlatan Ibrahimovic will see out his final year in Paris, and Saido Berahino remains a Baggie, albeit begrudgingly so. That being said, the 2015 summer transfer window still set a record in England, as EPL clubs spent a whopping 870 million-pounds ($1.33 billion) on players.

Still, transfer D-Day was more about what didn’t happen, rather than what happened, and there was no bigger deal that fell apart than De Gea’s move to Real Madrid from Manchester United. Tuesday started with Real Madrid’s angry response to the De Gea deal falling apart due to late paperwork, but later, United came out and said it never really wanted to sell the player in the first place, before giving its account of what went wrong with the, uh, paperwork.

On the one hand, you can imagine that coach Louis van Gaal wasn’t thrilled with the idea of replacing one of the world’s very best goalkeepers with Keylor Navas, who is good, but not nearly as good as De Gea. It wasn’t as if the club really needed the money or anything, but you have to wonder what the point was of keeping the player on the bench for the first four games of the season if it was never the club’s intention to sell him? Perhaps someone at the club should have talked to De Gea instead of keeping him out in the cold -- a move that can only have detrimental consequences for his mental state and overall feeling toward the club retaining him. Now, instead of at least getting something for him, United has an excellent goalkeeper on its hands that will leave for free at the end of the season and who really doesn’t want to be there, anyways -- the Spaniard thinking all the time that a deal to his preferred club was definitely going to happen. Now, United has an almighty awkward mess on its hands, and transfer chief Ed Woodward comes out of it looking unprofessional, really.

In any event, United did manage to complete the signing of Anthony Martial from Monaco for $55 million, plus add-ons. However, no matter how fast this 19-year-old is, it seems an awful lot of money for a player whom star striker Wayne Rooney had never even heard of. 

Meanwhile, over at Chelsea, with the Premier League champion still smarting from its second-ever home defeat under Jose Mourinho, you expected the "Special One" to pull a rabbit out of his hat, but none materialized. It turns out that no amount of money was going to persuade Juve to sell Pogba, and the player didn’t really want to leave, either. The Blues also experienced disappointment in its pursuit of Everton center-back John Stones, who was barred by his club from leaving despite having handed in a transfer request. These disappointments notwithstanding, Mourinho & Co. did finally land a pair of center-backs on Tuesday:Papy Djilobodji from Nantes, and Michael Hector from Championship club Reading, both for $6.1 million, although the latter was promptly loaned back to his former club as part of the deal.

Never heard of them? Neither has Off The Post.

Speaking of pulling rabbits out of hats, Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger decided to fly to Paris on Tuesday to try and prize an outfield player or two out of perennial champ Paris Saint-Germain after it became abundantly clear that Real striker Karim Benzema was staying in Madrid. Adrien Rabiot and Edinson Cavani were the Frenchman’s targets, but PSG wouldn’t sell, offering Ibrahimovic instead at the 11th-hour, although it was too late for a deal to materialize. As the Bleacher Report noted via Twitter: “Barcelona signed more players this summer than Arsenal, despite being under a transfer ban.” Wenger supporters should be warned to stay away from Twitter for the time being, as #WengerOut has reemerged as a popular hashtag amongst Gunners fans.

Another big transfer fail on Tuesday was the Berahino-to-Spurs saga, despite four bids of up to $33.7 million from the North London club. After it became clear to the West Brom player that he was going nowhere, he vented his frustration at West Brom owner James Peace via Twitter. Needless to say, it could be a while before the England U21 forward returns to Premier League action. In other Spurs transfer failings, long-time defensive midfield target Victor Wanyama did not complete his move from Southampton. In fact, the only positive news at White Hart Lane came for USA fans, as American fullback/winger DeAndre Yedlin completed a season-long loan to Sunderland.

Predictably, Manchester City had a quiet last day of the transfer window, having already spent $232 million this summer. The Premier League’s runaway early leader had one piece of business to conclude, and that was loaning out surplus center-back Jason Denayer to Turkish giant Galatasaray.

Similarly, Liverpool had little to do on the last days of the window, loaning out Lazar Markovic, a disappointing signing last summer, to Fenerbahce, another Turkish club, and defender Tiago Ilori to Aston Villa for $1.5 million on Monday.

West Ham, for one, was particularly busy on deadline day, adding midfielder Alex Song from Barcelona, winger Victor Moses from Chelsea, striker Nikica Jelavic from Hull City, and Michail Antonio from Nottingham Forest, all on a season-long loan. Watford was another busy one, adding Colombian Victor Ibarbo from Cagliari, Algerian Adlene Guedioura from Crystal Palace and 6-foot-5 Belgian striker Obbi Oulare from Club Bruges all on a season loan deals.

Elsewhere on deadline day, Southampton signed defender Virgil van Dijk on a five-year contract from Celtic for $17.6 million, Everton finally landed center-back Ramiro Funes Mori on a five-year deal from River Plate for $14.5 million, Aston Villa bought Joleon Lescott from West Brom for $3 million and Leicester City added Swansea midfielder Nathan Dyer on a season-long loan deal, too.

And that’s it! You can see a full list of the 2015 summer transfers by EPL club here.  

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