Top five most high-profile pre-agreed transfers
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
These moves were agreed even though the transfer window was closed at the time but not all of them went according to plan.
It again that phase of the year where clubs tend to make new additions to their ranks in order to bail them out of the issues they might be facing in the current campaign. It is like a lifeline for managers to make amends to their side before the league enters the climax.
Over the years this period of time has seen some of the biggest transfers happening and while some has gone out there splashed the cash on a player of their liking, some of the clubs have been very smart with their business policies and have ended up signing pre-contract agreements with their targets.
5. Leon Goretzka (Schalke to Bayern Munich)
On of Germany's brightest midfield stars in recent years, Leon Goretzka was a mainstay for former club Schalke. The boy from Bochum made his name in his early days and his impressive performance for boyhood club paved his way to Gelsenkirchen.
In schalke he added the accolades to his game, technically astute Goretzka is probably the most balanced player. The Germany international could be deployed deep in midfield to cut passing lanes for opponents midfield, while he also had the knack of chipping in with goals occasionally. His physicality and tall stature allowed him to dominate the midfield for the Blues. His all-around play impressed clubs all around Europe but the 23-year old made up his mind to join Bayern Munich.
Watch: Leon Goretzka is still settling into life at Bayern Munich
He passed the medical and signed a pre-contract with the Bavarian in January last season. His life at Bavaria is yet to hit top gear but the German midfielder looks to toil hard to stay up in the competition for the first team. With the team languishing in 3rd position in Bundesliga and also with Champions League knockouts coming their way Leon Goretzka will be a key player for Niko Kovac.
4. Mario Gotze (Borrusia Dortmund to Bayern Munich)
Gotze the World Cup hero for Germany was once touted to the next big thing in world football. His amazing run of games for Dortmund and his brilliant partnership with Marco Reus made them a treat to watch during the Jurgen Klopp era where the club also won the Bundesliga title in back to back successive seasons.
Watch: Gotze's move from Dortmumd to Bayern raised many eyebrows
However, Gotze made it clear that he wants to leave Dortmund and Bayern came calling making him the highest paid German player then. The Bavarians triggered his release clause and the transfer raised a lot of eyebrows. Although Gotze did not have the best of times at the Allianz Arena struggling to make in the first eleven and occasional injuries also did not help his cause. He finally returned to Dortmund in 2016 and said that he regrets his move to Bayern three years earlier.
3. Robert Lewandowski ( Borrusia Dortmund to Bayern Munich)
Of all the players who have joined Bayern in recent times, Robert Lewandowski has been the most successful one. The 30-year old was one of standout players for Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund as he played a vital role in their domestic double in 2011/12 season. Following that was his exceptional performances with BVB in the Champions League guiding them to glory as they fell short against rivals Bayern in the final at Wembley.The Polish marksman announced his pre-contract agreement with Bayern on 2013 and he was presented as Bayern player at the start of the next season.
Watch: Robert Lewandowski hjas failed to win the Champions League with Bayern Munich so far
Lewandowski has been one of the best players Bayern managed to snap up in recent times. The Polish talisman has singlehandedly scored tons of goals for the Bavarians helping them clinch back to back four consecutive Bundesliga titles. In the last two years, the 30-year old has been so consistent with his goals that he has a better goal to games ratio than both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring 85 goals in 92 matches.
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2. Neymar (Santos to Barcelona)
The Samba boy was one of the brightest talents during Santos' dominance in Campeonato Paulista in 2010. The wonderkid's ascendency in his play was heard from far off lands as European clubs came calling for the Brazilian youngster. Premier League clubs like West Ham United and Chelsea. But Santos did everything in their power to hold the youngster when eventually Barcelona came calling. It was a call which the Brazilian could not resist.
Neymar announced that he will be joining La Liga giants Barcelona and rest was as they is history. The Brazilian international soon became a sensation for both club and country. Neymar also won the treble for Barcelona winning the Champions League final against Juventus in Berlin. His iconic partnership is still arguably one of the best trios in world football. The partnership between the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez along with Neymar was simply sensational and that allowed Barcelona to lift a lot of trophies during that phase.
Watch: The Brazilian has moved on to Paris St. Germain
However, things have changed a lot and now the Brazilian international is currently plying his trade in France for Paris Saint Germain.
1. Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan to Juventus)
One of the modern football greats, the Italian magician was an iconic midfielder. One of a kind as nowadays a midfielder like him is very hard to find. The former Italian international was someone who has played for all of the three Serie A giants (Internazionale, AC Milan and Juventus). Pirlo won a lot of accolades at the San Siro donning the Rossoneri jersey playing amongst top players in the world during that time. The Italian bagged two champions league titles during his time at AC Milan.
Watch: Pirlo took the Old Lady to a UEFA Champions League final
But Pirlo's transition from AC Milan to Juventus in 2011 was a different story altogether, the Italian was more matured and played a deep role in midfield forming another midfield trio of him alongside Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba. The iconic midfield trio was one of the reason's why the Bianconeri reached the 2014/15 Champions League final with Pirlo acting as the fulcrum of the side. Often known as the Maestro Pirlo bagged the prestigious Serie A player of the year for three times in his career and exquisite long ball with the mesmerizing set pieces leaves a deep mark of his name on the football field, something which will not be forgotten any time soon.
Published: Sat Dec 15, 2018 08:01 PM IST