Nine stars who nearly signed for unusual teams

 
 
Andres Iniesta celebrates after scoring the third goal for Barcelona

Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur and Ibrox side Glasgow Rangers were among the teams to nearly pull off these surprising moves.

With the transfer window in full swing, supporters may well be recalling some of the deals that their sides targeted in years gone by which, while they may not have seemed a big deal when they missed out at the time, have since gone down in folklore or have haunted the club that missed out.

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With that in mind, here is a look at nine particular potential transfers that perhaps few would have believed were once in the pipeline...

Gareth Bale celebrates scoring the first goal for Real MadridGareth Bale nearly joined Wolves on loan from Tottenham

Gareth Bale to Wolves

According to former Wolves striker Kevin Doyle, only an injury at Tottenham prevented Gareth Bale arriving at Molineux on loan back in 2009, the Express and Star reports. Four years later, he would leave White Hart Lane for Real Madrid in a deal worth £85 million.

Luis Suarez to Tottenham

Harry Redknapp told TalkSPORT in 2016 that during his time as Tottenham manager, he was interested in signing Luis Suarez, but ended up landing Louis Saha instead. The Uruguayan is now scoring for fun at Barcelona.

Andres Iniesta celebrates after scoring the third goal for BarcelonaAndres Iniesta was attracting Rangers' attention back in 2003

Andres Iniesta to Rangers

Andres Iniesta may have won the World Cup, two European Championships, a number of Champions Leagues and practically every other honour available to Barcelona, but he missed out on the chance to be Barry Ferguson's replacement at Rangers back in 2003. According to Alex McLeish, in quotes reported by the Daily Record, Iniesta was promoted to the Barca first-team shortly after the Gers made a loan bid. 

Andriy Shevchenko to West Ham

According to Dream Team FC, Andriy Shevchenko was made available to West Ham for just £1 million before he became one of Europe's best strikers. Then-Hammers boss Harry Redknapp felt that the fee was too great for the Ukrainian.

Ronaldinho to St Mirren

According to the Scotsman, St Mirren tried to bring Ronaldinho to Scotland in 2001. Within four years, he had become the world's best player, won the Champions League, La Liga twice and the World Cup with Brazil in 2002, famously lobbing David Seaman on the way to the country's fifth triumph in the competition. 

Pavel Nedved to Duisburg 

Spox reports that Pavel Nedved was on the verge of signing for Duisburg in 1996, with the formalities set for completion after that summer's European Championships. Unfortunately, after shining for Czechoslovakia, he ended up joining Lazio, becoming one of Europe's classiest midfielders.

Diego Maradona to Sheffield United

The Guardian reports that Sheffield United nearly signed a 17-year-old Diego Maradona after agreeing a £200,000 fee. Unfortunately, the deal fell through when the Blades were unable to increase the fee, and the Argentinian went on to become one of the greatest players the game has ever seen - if not the best of all time.

General view before the game - Villa ParkAston Villa missed the chance to sign Roberto Carlos in 1995

Roberto Carlos to Aston Villa

Roberto Carlos nearly joined Aston Villa in 1995, he recently told The Sun. Brian Little was unconvinced about Carlos and instead signed Gareth Southgate, while Carlos ended up playing for the likes of Real Madrid.

David Beckham to Sunderland

Steve Bruce confirmed to the Telegraph in 2010 that he tried to bring David Beckham to Sunderland on loan 18 months previously. The former England skipper turned down the chance to move to the Stadium of Light, instead joining AC Milan from LA Galaxy.

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