Though the transfer window has shut, the insatiable need for the market rumbles on around the footballing globe, such is the crazy amount of interest the proverbial ‘silly season’ brings to fans.
Indeed, like it or not, transfers and everything that goes with them are one of the major strands of the general footballing narrative. Especially in the digital age, where every supporter can be clued up about potential incomings or outgoings very quickly.
However, what about those mega deals that didn’t quite come off? Here, in our The one that got away series, we’ll take a look at perhaps the most surprising transfers to have fallen at the final hurdle.
David Ginola – Celtic, 1995
Part of the frustration amongst Celtic fans at the moment is their seemingly inability to grow. Indeed, while the Hoops are all-conquering on domestic soil, their constant disappointment on the European front is proving a big problem for the club and the kind of problems they’ve endured this summer are at risk of becoming far more frequent if there’s not an improvement.
As the Bhoys saw with John McGinn, they can’t really compete with the financial resource of top, even Championship, clubs south of the border and while that’s caught up with them of late, it’s not a new concept.
Despite the Scots’ impressive standing in the European game, there’s no doubt the resources have dried up in comparison to the English game. While that wasn’t quite true back in 1995, it could be argued that the trend started when David Ginola snubbed a move to Parkhead.
The Frenchman revealed to talkSPORT (via HITC) that he was close to moving to Glasgow in 1995 upon leaving Paris Saint-Germain, though ultimately joined Newcastle United instead. At the time, Ginola says, the money was ‘probably the same’ and that he ‘just ran away’ from negotiations despite having ‘the pen in my hands’ when visiting the Scottish city.
Nowadays, the problem may well be the gulf in what Celtic can offer players, though Ginola’s frank assessment on why he didn’t join a club who have had far more regular success than Newcastle (or Tottenham, who he signed for later) says a lot.
For him, it was ‘we were talking about playing in the Scottish Premier League or playing in the Premier League. It was as simple as that.’