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Top ten transfer cops and flops

By By Sarah Williams

Published: 2:30PM Thursday September 04, 2008 Source: ONE Sport

It may be hard to believe but the door has finally closed on what has been one of the biggest, most exciting and not to mention expensive summer transfer season in football history.

ONE Sport's Sarah Williams looks at the top ten cops and flops of the summer transfer season 2008.

1. Deco: Barcelona to Chelsea

Former Barcelona striker Deco became one of the first and biggest signings of the summer transfer season and was of course, the first player to enter Big Phil Scolari's 'new look' Chelsea.

Barcelona had no problems selling the Portuguese playmaker, whom the La Liga club referred to as 'surplus to requirements' making one wonder if the pint-sized 31-year-old could cut the mustard in the Premier League - one couldn't have been more wrong.

Since making his Chelsea debut, Deco, with his pace and space finding ability has slipped into the Chelsea side like he has always been there and with his two goals in two games has proved all the doubters wrong.

Deco was an absolute bargain for Chelsea at just 8million quid and might well just be the ingredient needed to help Samba Scolari make Chelsea sexy, well, maybe just the ingredient needed for the Blues to have a shot at winning the Premier League or the Champions League instead.

2. Samir Nasri: Olympique Marseille to Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger didn't make too much of a splash in the 2008 summer transfer market but he did make one great buy in the form of French international Samir Nasri.

Nasri came into Arsenal as a 12.5million replacement for Barcelona bound Alexander Hleb and just like Deco, the former Ligue One Young Player of the Year is a pint sized fire cracker.

21-year-old Nasri is confident, young, fast and is not afraid to get stuck in - traits that have even seen Wenger compare him to former Arsenal winger, Robert Pires, after he scored the winner just four-minutes into his debut Premier League game against West Brom.

Definitely one to watch this season.

3. Dimitar Berbatov: Tottenham to Manchester United

Oh Dimi, just when we thought all the transfer sagas were nearing the end, you had to come and start it all over again.

Yes, Tottenham Hotspurs Dimitar Berbatov had made his intentions of leaving the club, where his 42 goals in 102 games had made him a hero to Spurs fans, by hilariously signing a Man U shirt for a fan while he was still at Spurs and looking miserable while sitting on the bench during Tottenham's opening Premier League games.

Apparently Dimi had, had enough of playing in non-Champions League top four Premier League football so United came calling - and after weeks of speculation Alex Ferguson finally got his man just minutes before the end of a high drama transfer deadline day.

After a lot of messing about Tottenham finally accepted 30.75million for the Bulgarian even though Manchester City had tried to hijack their bid just hours before the transfer window closed after having a 34million-pound bid excepted, and now Berbatov can actually sign fans shirts for real. Hurrah!

4. Robinho: Real Madrid to Manchester City

Just writing those words makes you want to go back and check your facts, Robinho to Manchester City? Is that right? Was it all just a bad dream??? Does Robinho know what the hell he's let himself in for? Does Robinho even know where Manchester is?

Er, apparently not. After signing for Manchester City for a British record transfer fee of 32.5million the Brazilian told reporters he was happy to be at City because he knew they were a "very big club."

But, even though Robinho might not know what he has let himself in for, one can safely say that after being taken over by one of the richest companies in the world, it is top ten finishing Manchester City who pulled off the biggest and most shocking transfer cop of them all.

Robinho had been Big Phil Scolari's number one transfer target all season, and even though Chelsea desperately put in a last ditch attempt to lure the playmaker to Stamford Bridge, it was Manchester City who beat them in the end, and its not often you can say that!

But it doesn't stop there, apparently City's manager Mark Hughes has been told he can bid 80million pounds each for some of the worlds biggest stars including; Messi, Kaka, Torres and Fabregas, with a renewed bid of 60 million for Berbatov - yes the world has gone mad!

5: Robbie Keane: Tottenham to Liverpool

This may be an odd choice for the top transfer cop list, after all the former Tottenham striker has failed to light since his recent 20million-pound move to Liverpool.

But all good things come to those who wait - and Liverpool know there is hope for this proven goal scorer, who had a Kop song penned for him five minutes after he signed for the Reds.

And with Torres and possibly Gerrard out, Keane's debut goal could just be brewing to make all the difference in a little game to be played on the 13th of September.

Top five transfer flops

1. Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United to Real Madrid

Without a question of a doubt, the biggest and most talked about transfer saga of the season award, like so many others, goes to one Cristiano Ronaldo.

For months on end all we heard about was the will he, won't he, transfer saga of Ron and his 'dream move' to Real Madrid.

Real wanted him, Ron wanted them, and Ferguson wanted to throw a footie boot at someone's head, probably.

But it was just a four-year-contract and a damaged ankle that stood in the way of Ronaldo turning his back on his loyal fans and realising his boyhood dream of pulling on a Real Madrid shirt in the Spanish sun.

It was a shame for him, a shame for Madrid and a shame for everyone who isn't a Manchester United fan, but there is always January, and believe me, this transfer saga is far from over.

2. Gareth Barry: Aston Villa to Liverpool

Ah, Gareth Barry was yet another transfer headache that refused to go away.

After ten years of service to Aston Villa the 27-year-old skipper wanted to realise his very own dream of playing at Anfield.

Many supporters thought the partnership formed between Barry and Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard during recent England games was enough to warrant Barry's move to Merseyside, and of all the flopped transfers, this one was the biggest heartbreaker.

For months the Gareth Barry saga rolled on, with a clear end seemingly in sight.

Barry publicly said he wanted to leave, and the fans wanted him to go too, making it clear when they booed him for an hour during one of Villa's pre-season friendlies, but in the end it was the stubborn bosses of the respective teams that caused this one to fall on its arse.

Villa wanted 18million, Liverpool wanted to pay 16 and offload one of their unwanted players to boot.

Martin O'Neill didn't fancy having Voronin on his bench and Benitez wouldn't or couldn't pay and that was the end of that.

3. David Villa: Valencia to anyone

After impressing so much at Euro 2008 it was only a matter of time before the Golden Boot winner became the No.1 target of Premier League clubs all over the land.

Liverpool thought they might have a go, Tottenham, and Arsenal too, but after such an impressive tournament with eventual winners Spain, it was only a matter of time before Valencia slapped a 20million and over price-tag on the 27-year-old.

Only Chelsea could afford him, they didn't need him, so Villa signed a further contract that will see him finish his career with the La Liga club, shame.

4. Ronaldinho: Barcelona to Manchester City

After getting a belly to match his teeth, former Brazilian bucktooth hero Ronaldinho also became 'surplus to requirements' at Barcelona and so the chase began.

On hearing this news Manchester City boss Mark Hughes made the World Cup winner one of his No.1 targets of the transfer season, even flying to Spain in a last ditch attempt to bring him to Eastlands - but we all knew it was never going to happen.

Instead Ronaldinho ditched the grey skies and mince pies of Manchester in favour of Italians and garlic bread, signing for AC Milan instead.

How fun it would have been to see the World Cup winner running around the muddy fields of Manchester though.

5. Robinho: Real Madrid to Chelsea

Robinho's move from Real Madrid to Chelsea was a transfer that EVEYONE thought was a done deal, so much so that Chelsea even started advertising the Brazilian's name on the back of their new away shirts before anything had even been signed, but that was before a pesky group of cashed-up Arabs came and ruined the whole damn thing!

Yes, Robinho had been Scolari's numero uno choice of the transfer season, and would have been the last piece in the 'make Chelsea play sexy football' jigsaw - but alas, Real thought they would sell the striker to a team who couldn't challenge them on the European stage, yet.

Time will only tell what the fall out of this failed transfer will be, what will be interesting is that the world class Brazilians first game in a Manchester City shirt (that still just sounds so wrong) will be against Chelsea at Eastlands - can't wait to watch those fireworks!