Biggest hijacked transfers after Liverpool snatch Cody Gakpo from Man Utd, including Ronaldo and Gazza

Biggest hijacked transfers after Liverpool snatch Cody Gakpo from Man Utd, including Ronaldo and Gazza

Updated: 3 months, 4 days, 29 minutes, 8 seconds ago

IT'S happened again.

Man Utd lost out to the signature of Dutch World Cup star Cody Gako after Liverpool swooped in at the eleventh hour to snatch the forward from their arch-rivals.


Liverpool have signed Cody Gakpo - beating Man Utd to his signature

Credit: Getty

The Reds will pay a fee of £37million for the forward, who was top of Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag's January transfer window targets.

But it's not the first time United have been left twiddling their thumbs after missing out on a top talent.

Them, and plenty of others, have seen their dawdling cost them before they could make a move.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Back in 2021, when the Portugal legend was surplus to requirements at Juventus, Man City thought they had nabbed their man.

However, when Sir Alex Ferguson got wind of the situation, he immediately got in touch with Ronaldo to convince him that a return to Old Trafford would be more beneficial.

Even Rio Ferdinand reportedly got on the phone and told him in no uncertain terms he shouldn't cross the Manchester divide.

In the end, he didn't. But, he probably wishes he did now, following one trophyless season with United before falling out with Ten Hag and having his contract terminated.


Cristiano Ronaldo re-signed for Man Utd - snubbing Man City's advances

Credit: AFP

Paul Gascoigne

Gazza was the best young player in English football - and Fergie was a massive fan.

In 1988, he did his utmost to sign him - with a contract even being agreed.

Gascoigne, though, had his doubts whether he would get into United's midfield ahead of Bryan Robson and Neil Webb.

Then, Spurs turned his head by offering him a house - and that was the sweetener in the deal, leaving Ferguson fuming when he came back from his holiday.


Paul Gascoigne chose Tottenham Hotspur instead of Man Utd

Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd


Another one that got away from Fergie - and this one was the best player in the world.

The Brazilian superstar ran the show for PSG and was destined for bigger things.

United needed a replacement for the Real Madrid-bound David Beckham in 2003, and turned to Ronaldinho.

Barcelona snatched the forward at the last minute - with United miffed.

Ironically, the Catalans were one of the suitors for Becks. Had they sold him to Barcelona instead of Real Madrid, Ronaldinho might have been theirs.


Ronaldinho undergoes a medical with Barcelona before signing for the Catalans

Credit: AFP


Brazilian star Ronaldinho is unveiled at the Camp Nou - after Man Utd missed out

Credit: Reuters

Emmanuel Petit

In 1997, Spurs were convinced they had bought French star Emmanuel Petit.

He flew to London, met with Lord Sugar and a contract was agreed before he got into a taxi paid for by his potentially new employers.

Crafty Arsene Wenger intervened and urged Petit not to sign anything.

That taxi then went straight to Wenger's North London home, where the future World Cup winner chose Arsenal instead. Ouch.


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger intervened at the 11th hour to stop Emmanuel Petit signing for Spurs

Credit: PA:Press Association

Luis Diaz

Tottenham were done again - this time in the January transfer window of 2022.

Colombian Diaz was already on Liverpool's radar, who were planning a summer raid for the forward.

When Tottenham contacted Porto about a potential deal, the Portuguese club informed the Reds of their actions.

Knowing they had to accelerate their interest, Jurgen Klopp's side swooped.


Luiz Diaz appeared Spurs bound until Liverpool swooped

Credit: EPA

Alexis Sanchez

Chile legend Sanchez's future was up for discussion as Arsenal failed to mount a serious title challenge.

He wanted to move to a club who could - and it appeared that Man City were that team after Pep Guardiola chased the former Barcelona star for months.

Man Utd flexed their financial muscle - and gazumped City with an outrageous £500,000-per-week offer for the South American in 2019.

It proved to be bad business - with Sanchez being an impressively expensive flop.


Alexis Sanchez signs on the dotted line for Man Utd

Credit: Getty - Contributor


Man City maybe dodged a bullet with Alexis Sanchez, who flopped at Man Utd

Credit: Getty - Contributor

John Obi Mikel

A hijacking that lasted a year.

In 2005, Man Utd announced they had signed Nigerian Mikel... or so they thought.

Chelsea intervened saying they had an agreement with the player's agent, but his Norwegian club Lyn new nothing of it.

A strange press conference followed - with Mikel holding up a United shirt.

The same year, Mikel went missing - with United assistant boss Carlos Queiroz accusing the Blues of kidnapping the teenager.

Incredibly, Chelsea paid United £12million in 2006, plus £4million to Lyn, to settle the greatest hijack of all.


First, John Obi Mikel was a Man Utd player

Credit: AFP


A year later, Chelsea unveiled Mikel

Credit: AP:Associated Press


Another one Pep missed out on

In 2018, City thought they had signed Jorginho from Napoli - with a transfer fee and contract agreed.

But when Maurizio Sarri arrived at Chelsea that summer, it turned the midfielder's head.

He opted to reunite with his former manager - and has won the Champions League, Europa League, and placed third in the Ballon d’Or rankings since joining the Blues.


Chelsea won the battle for Jorginho after Maurizio Sarri became boss

Credit: Getty - Contributor