Saturday, July 20, 2024

Transfer Deadline Day deals that fell through: Dembele, Lingard and others who didn’t move

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While Deadline Day is mostly about the transfer deals that clubs successfully get past the finish line before the January transfer window slams shut, sometimes the storylines can also focus on those deals that fall apart.

Plenty of rumored deals went through this winter, but some didn’t.

Here’s a rundown of all the major transfers that were reportedly close to happening on Deadline Day, but fell apart at the last minute.

MORE: Transfer Deadline Day roundup

Transfers that didn’t happen

Ousmane Dembele (FC Barcelona)

Despite Barcelona’s best efforts to offload Ousmane Dembele to another club before the transfer window shut, no deal materialized. The Spanish side tried desperately to get rid of Dembele and his wages, knowing that the 24-year-old’s deal expires this summer and he has refused to sign a contract extension at a reduced salary.

With Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United, and most notably PSG all reportedly in for Dembele on Deadline Day, no deal materialized. At one point it appeared that moves to both Chelsea and PSG looked possible, but nothing came to fruition.

MORE: 10 most expensive player transfers in January

Instead, Barcelona is now saddled with Dembele’s salary for the next six months, unless the two sides agree to part ways. A very public war of words ensued over the course of the January transfer window between club and player, with head coach Xavi even drawn in, so there will need to be a reconciliation if Dembele is to play again before the summer.

Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)

Manchester United has played hardball with Jesse Lingard all winter, with rumors flying the entire transfer window about possible destinations. But Manchester United wasn’t convinced to let him go. This, despite Lingard logging just 88 total Premier League minutes so far this season.

All reports indicated that Lingard very much wanted to leave, with Newcastle the most talked-about suitor, but ultimately, Manchester United would not be drawn into a deal. At one point during the window, there were even reports that Manchester United was pushing to include a “survival fee” to extract millions from Newcastle should Lingard help them stay afloat, further indicating United’s stance on their player.

It seems the Mason Greenwood situation had an effect on Man United’s decision, knowing they would be unable to lose yet another attacking player, not knowing when or if Greenwood would be back.

Fabio Carvalho (Fulham FC)

According to a bevy of respected reports, Liverpool was on the brink of acquiring Fulham youngster Fabio Carvalho, but the clubs simply ran out of time to complete the deal.

Carvalho, a 19-year-old Fulham youth product who has burst onto the scene this year with seven goals and four assists in 18 Championship appearances, has refused to sign a new contract at Craven Cottage, and with his current deal expiring this summer, the Whites were desperate to get a return for his services. Liverpool was one of many Premier League clubs reportedly interested in Carvalho, hence his refusal to commit his future to Fulham with a step up this summer almost ensured.

MORE: The top signings of the January 2022 transfer window

According to the reports, Fulham insisted on a $12 million deal contingent on Carvalho being loaned back to the Whites for the rest of the season, something Liverpool eventually agreed to. But the two parties just didn’t leave themselves enough time to dot all the i’s. Embarrassingly, Carvalho even completed his medical, but will now return to Craven Cottage with no deal in place.

In the Premier League, there are forms called “deal sheets” which can be submitted as binding contracts for agreed-upon deals, but which also allow clubs to complete the necessary paperwork past the deadline. Unfortunately for the two parties, because Fulham is not a Premier League club, and the EFL does not have a deal sheet process, all paperwork had to be completed by the deadline, and it was just too much to process.

Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)

Arsenal, Newcastle, and Tottenham were all linked to Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz this winter, with the 23-year-old’s contract set to expire in summer 2023. There were even reports that Aston Villa rejected a bid of $40 million for Luiz from an unnamed club.

However, Aston Villa ultimately held on, and reports now are that Villa values the player and will begin working on a contract extension.

Luiz has made 17 Premier League appearances this season, assisting three goals. He now gets to work with fellow Brazilian international Philippe Coutinho in midfield, which should be an attractive prospect.

D’Mani Mellor

Now for the more obscure deal of Deadline Day that fell through. We always love a good paperwork bungle (right, David de Gea?) so here’s today’s edition of Admin Errors.

D’Mani Mellor, a 21-year-old Manchester United striker, spent the first half of the season on loan at League Two side Salford City, where former Manchester United stars David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, and the Neville brothers are co-owners. Unfortunately, Mellor collected just three league appearances through the first six months, and was recalled by Man United to find a better fit.

Mellor seemed all set to join fellow League Two club Crawley Town, but it fell apart. 

“We had some disappointing news concerning the United player,” Crawley Town manager John Yems confirmed. “There was a right balls-up with the paperwork from their end and I don’t think that will go through, we are trying to rectify it.”


Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

One deal that seemed to have fallen apart was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s move to Barcelona, where a negotiation over his salary caused the deal to collapse.

Barcelona’s financial constraints are no secret, and it was difficult for the Spanish side to find the money to pay his current Arsenal wages. The deal was so toast that reports indicated Aubameyang, who arrived at Barcelona unbeknownst to Arsenal, was flying back home to London empty-handed.

Then, in a shocking twist, Aubameyang’s deal suddenly was back on. Barcelona president Joan Laporta restarted the rumors by claiming at a gala that he was still hopeful, and within the next hour, multiple solid reports cropped up indicating that Aubameyang would indeed join Barcelona on a free transfer, signing an 18-month contract.

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