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The Biggest Transfer Flops in History (part three)

Conintnuing the series looking at some of the biggest transfer flops in history, where players moved clubs in big money moves that never worked out.

Part One can be found here and Part Two here.

Robinho – Real Madrid to Manchester City

In 2008 Manchester City were bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group, and immediately became one of the biggest spenders in world football. One of the first moves they made was for Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward Robinho, who, when he was 15, had been picked by Pelé as his heir apparent.

Robinho had previously expressed a desire to move to Chelsea and was convinced he was heading to West London, even when he was on the point of signing a four-year deal at the Etihad.

He began well, scoring 14 goals in 41 games, but his productivity soon tailed off.,

Part one in a series looking at some of the biggest flops in transfer history and where moves for big money failed in a major way. He got into trouble with the club for making an unsanctioned return back to Brazil, and then injuries saw him miss three months of the new season,.

Meanwhile, manager Mark Hughes was sacked and Robinho’s laid back attitude did not suit the style of his demanding successor Roberto Mancini. First-team appearances became limited and he suffered the ignominy of being subbed-off after being brought on as a substitute in a game against Everton.

He was loaned back to Brazil and never played for City again, joining AC Milan, before an itinerant career that took in stops in Brazil, China, and Turkey.

Kaka – AC Milan to Real Madrid

In 2017 an Italian court sentenced him to nine years in jail for his role in a serious sexual assault, which was upheld last December after an appeal.

Kaka won the Ballon D’Or and was named World Player of the Year in 2007 whilst he was with AC Milan, where he had helped them win the Champions League and the Club World Cup. He scored 95 goals in 270 appearances for the Rossoneri, persuading Real Madrid to pay what was then a world record fee for him.

However, his time In Spain was plagued by injury and he could never replicate the form he had shown in Spain, In four seasons with Real he only mustered 29 goals in 120 appearances, and failed to make any significant impression for them either domestically or in Europe,

In 2013 he returned to Milan on a free transfer, and finished his career in the MLS.

Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool to Barcelona

In January 2018, Barcelona had just sold Neymar to PSG and d the money was burning a hole in their pocket.

They decided to spend most of it on Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and paid well over £100 million for a player who had terrorised the Premier League with his free-kicks, long range goals and acute passing.

Liverpool, it turned out, got much the better of the deal. They used the money from his sale to finance the purchase of central defender Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson Becker, two players who would prove to be instrumental in them winning the Champions League and the Premier League title.

Meanwhile, Barcelona had bought themselves an expensive misfit, somebody that just did not fit their style of play.

After just a year he was allowed to join Bayern Munich on loan, and he did help them win the Champions League. However, they did not take up the option to buy, and he returned to Spain, but he made only sporadic appearances for them last season.

Now they are looking to offload him this summer. The big question is are there any takers and at what price?

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