Chelsea have gone from rejecting £70m for Callum Hudson-Odoi to taking £8m for him. Kylian Mbappe and Jadon Sancho have also been the subject of ludicrous snubbed bids…
Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea to Bayern Munich, £70m)
The Englishman attracted concrete interest from Bayern Munich earlier in his career, with bids submitted in 2019 and 2020. The largest of which was an initial loan offer at the start of the 2020/21 season that included an extortionate £70m purchase option.
Chelsea – the silly sods – snubbed this offer as they instead preferred a permanent deal and since then, talk over a move for Hudson-Odoi to the Bundesliga giants has gone quiet.
This is hardly a surprise as his progression – plus Chelsea’s valuation of him – has steadily been on the decline over the past three years. So much so that he will join Fulham for just £8m if the Cottagers up their initial bid for the winger.
It is hardly controversial to say that this £70m offer for Hudson-Odoi was excessive. At the time, he had shown flashes of promise in a Chelsea jersey but he was yet to fully establish himself under Frank Lampard and while he’s somehow still only 22, this is a missed transfer he will probably live to regret not forcing through.
His imminent move to Fulham is a decent one for all parties but given what was on the table for him previously, it is underwhelming and illustrates how much his reputation has declined.
Anthony Gordon (Everton to Chelsea, £60m)
It’s difficult to decide who was sillier here: Chelsea for making a £60m bid for Gordon or Everton for not snapping their hands off at the first opportunity?
Onlookers were left in bemusement by Chelsea’s apparently- haphazard £600m spend last season. While there was *some* thought to their madness, given that they were stocked up on young talents for the future, it was both infuriating and laughable to see them sign winger after winger while ignoring their obvious priority (a new striker).
Huge money was spent on Raheem Sterling, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke, while Joao Felix was brought in for a sizable loan fee. And they were also keen on Gordon last summer after his breakout season for Premier League strugglers Everton in 2021/22.
Gordon stuck out like a sore thumb that term, but that was largely down to how bad Everton were overall and his six-goal involvements were nowhere near enough to make him a £60m-rated player.
Everton’s refusal to sell their prized asset before what proved to be another relegation-threatened season was an act of defiance, but following the player’s sluggish start to the 2022/23 campaign, he was snapped up by Newcastle United for £45m in January and he’s perhaps the only questionable signing they’ve made since their Saudi-led takeover.
Kylian Mbappe (PSG to Real Madrid, £137m)
PSG could have avoided this summer’s messy Mbappe saga had they cashed in on him in 2021.
It has been glaringly obvious for years that Mbappe has his heart set on a move to Real Madrid. That was the case when the Spanish giants submitted their £137m bid to PSG in August 2021, when the World Cup winner was entering the final year of his previous contract.
PSG took the bold decision to let Mbappe hold them to ransom last summer as in a desperate attempt to get him to sign a new contract (which worked), he was given a say in matters at board level.
This was always going to give Mbappe a conflict of interests and his already fractured relationship with PSG has since disintegrated completely as he’s already informed them that he will not extend his deal beyond 2024.
Naturally, this has led to false reports linking him with the Premier League and with him appearing unwilling to join the Saudi Pro League (despite being offered an obscene €700m salary), his desire is still to play for Real Madrid. Instead of getting £137m for a world-class talent, PSG look likely to lose him on a free transfer next year. You really cannot reason with this level of incompetence.
Richarlison (Everton to FC Barcelona, £85m)
If you’re wondering how a club of Barcelona’s magnitude could face financial troubles, their willingness to pay £85m to sign Richarlison tells you all you need to know, really.
To be fair to him, the attacker proved to be an excellent signing (£50m from Watford) for Everton in the long run, but that is not to say he is worthy of being in the £85m bracket.
At the time of Barcelona’s huge offer in January 2020, Everton were unwilling to sell their prized assets, with Sky Sports reporting that they are ‘looking to strengthen their squad rather than deplete it’.
Two relegation scraps later, Everton’s plan has worked out pretty poorly and looking back, they may have been better off taking Barcelona’s £85m to reinvest in their squad. Yet saying that, given how poorly they have acted in the transfer market under Farhad Moshiri, they would have probably spunked this money on a load of garbage.
The Toffees have since accepted a lower offer of £60m from Tottenham for Richarlison, who flopped last season but still found a way to sporadically be linked with Real Madrid. He must have a great agent.
Wayne Rooney (Man Utd to PSG, £135m)
The Englishman was underappreciated during his Man Utd career and it cannot be understated how bloody brilliant he was during his pomp.
One of his best seasons on a personal level at Old Trafford came in 2011/12 as he scored a remarkable 34 goals in 43 appearances across all competitions. After Sergio Aguero inspired Man City to pip their rivals to the Premier League title on the final day, Rooney could (and should?) have left United that summer.
A year before United were rejecting bids of around £20m for Rooney from Chelsea, a then world-record offer of £135m was lodged to Man Utd from Ligue 1 outfit PSG in 2012. This bid was submitted a few months after the French club’s Qatari takeover and they have been throwing their weight around in the transfer market ever since.
Their new investors attempted to start strong with the signing of Rooney but Man Utd expressed immense stubbornness to reject this proposal.
The DC United manager ended up sticking around at Man Utd for another five seasons, while the lack of Champions League trophies in their cabinet shows that PSG’s pursuit of European dominance has not panned out as intended.
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund to Man Utd, £91m)
You could argue that Dortmund are the Tottenham of the Bundesliga given how they go about negotiating player sales. While Daniel Levy is currently refusing to free Harry Kane, the German outfit were unwilling to be bullied during negotiations with Real Madrid regarding Jude Bellingham.
Dortmund have a history of this, with them refusing to budge on their £108m asking price for Sancho in 2020. Man Utd went as high as £91m for the England international that summer before they *finally* reached an agreement to sign the winger a year later for £73m.
Bundesliga standouts are not always sure-fire hits in the Premier League and Sancho’s fall from grace in a United shirt over the past two years has made that clear.
If Sancho does not enjoy a sudden resurgence under Erik ten Hag, he will arguably go down as one of their worst-ever signings. This a big statement as they signed some dross during the Ed Woodward era (I’m looking at you, Paul Pogba) but it’s tough to argue against it as he’s looked a shadow of his former Dortmund self.
While Dortmund have had United’s pants down over the £73m fee they ended up getting for Sancho, his dramatic decline makes them look a tad foolish for not accepting nearly £20m more just a year earlier.