Franck Ribery to Sheffield United wouldn't be first case of French legend making surprise Premier League move

Franck Ribery of FC Bayern Muenchen reacts during the friendly match between 1. FC Kaiserslautern and FC Bayern Muenchen at Fritz-Walter-Stadion on May 27, 2019 in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ribery, a free agent after leaving Bayern Munich, has been linked with a move to the Premier League new boys.

Franck Ribery of FC Bayern Muenchen reacts during the friendly match between 1. FC Kaiserslautern and FC Bayern Muenchen at Fritz-Walter-Stadion on May 27, 2019 in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Some eyebrows were raised on Thursday when newly promoted Premier League club Sheffield United were linked with a move for Franck Ribery, a former Ballon d'Or finalist and one of the most decorated footballers in recent years.

Ribery, now a free agent after leaving Bayern Munich, spent 12 seasons with the world-famous Bavarian club, winning nine Bundesliga titles, numerous domestic cups, and the Champions League trophy in 2013.

According to German outlet Kicker and cited by multiple outlets including Sky Sports News, the 36-year-old has had offers from both Australia and Qatar, but the Blades are in the hunt to bring him to Bramall Lane on a free transfer, with the player himself reported to be up for one final challenge before he hangs up his boots.

 

Sky Sports News asked United defender Enda Stevens about the rumour and his response was: "I didn't even see that to be honest but (transfer speculation) is going to happen because we are in the biggest league in the world and these players are going to be linked."

Admittedly, it is a bit of a scarcely believable rumour, linking one of the greatest players of this century with a newly promoted Premier League club, but it wouldn't be the first time that such a move has happened - in fact, two moves involving world-class French footballers joining recently promoted English top-flight clubs have taken place this century alone.

Youri Djorkaeff of Bolton Wanderers celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mate Delroy Facey during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City...

In 2002, Premier League strugglers Bolton Wanderers completed the signing of a then 33-year-old Youri Djorkaeff, a 78-times capped 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winner with France who had also played for Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan (BBC Sport).

A year later, meanwhile, Birmingham City were eager for inspiration as they were struggling in the Premier League after having gone up the previous summer, and they managed to sign then 30-year-old Christophe Dugarry (The Telegraph) - like Djorkaeff, a 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 winner with Les Bleus.

Therefore, as ridiculous as it may seem at first glance, there have been equally "ridiculous" links than Ribery to Sheffield United which ended up actually happening.

Christophe Dugarry of Birmingham City celebrates scoring the opening goal during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough held on April 26, 2003 at St...

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