This summer’s transfer window was one of the most memorable in recent times.
There were multiple sagas unfolding in the build-up and throughout the window, which included players such as Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Only one of them made a switch, with the Polish striker departing Bayern Munich for Barcelona. The latter had a very busy window and performed their fair share of hijacks throughout the summer. That word in terms of football transfers gets fans really excited as they usually come out of the blue.
The 2022 summer window contained multiple hijacked deals so let’s look at the top three involving Premier League clubs.
3 – Lisandro Martinez (Ajax to Manchester United)
Going into the summer window, Lisandro Martinez was hot property. The defender is incredibly versatile as he can play as a centre-back, left-back and even a holding midfielder.
In addition to that, the Argentine is very good technically and that grabbed the attention of many clubs, but mainly Manchester United and Arsenal in England.
Arsenal were very interested in Martinez and opened up the bidding with an offer of around £29m for the Ajax star, stated GOAL.
That offer was subsequently rejected by the Dutch giants and therefore, the Gunners returned with another bid, which was said to be around £35m plus add-ons, according to GOAL. A third bid with extra add-ons was submitted after that, reported Football.London, but as the London club tiptoed around the deal, Manchester United moved efficiently.
The Red Devils, now under the management of former Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, moved for the Dutchman’s former player.
The Manchester club ended up signing Martinez for £56.7m and United have tied the defender down to a five-year contract, reports Sky Sports.
It was one of the biggest hijacks of the summer and the Argentine has shown in the opening part of the season what all the fuss was about, already becoming a favourite amongst the Old Trafford faithful.
2 – Raphinha (Leeds United to Barcelona)
Fabrizio Romano described the Raphinha saga this summer as “one of the most crazy sagas ever”.
The Brazilian was the subject of interest for a number of clubs but in the end, the battle came down to Chelsea and Barcelona.
The Premier League side made the first move and had a £55m bid accepted by Leeds for the winger, reported The Athletic.
However, Raphinha wanted Barcelona all summer and waited until they got their financial issues in order.
The Catalan club activated numerous financial levers this summer which helped them to pay for their transfer dealings during the window, which included Raphinha. Barca essentially sold things such as TV rights and merchandising rights to get money now to help build a competitive team for their manager, Xavi.
Once they had the money, Barcelona made their move for the Leeds winger and hijacked Chelsea’s deal for the Brazilian with a bid of £55m including add-ons, as reported by Sky Sports.
This was less than what Chelsea bid as their £55m was the guaranteed fee which didn’t include add-ons.
In the end, Raphinha got the move he wanted most but the way it played out was very dramatic.
1 – Jules Kounde (Sevilla to Barcelona)
Jules Kounde is without doubt one of the best, if not the best, young defenders in the world.
Centre-back was a position Chelsea wanted to be addressed all summer long after losing both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to La Liga. The Blues signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli but wanted another centre-back to partner the Senegal international and Thiago Silva.
Chelsea missed out on Matthijs de Ligt who joined Bayern Munich in the end and as a result, submitted a £55m bid for Kounde, which was accepted according to Fabrizio Romano.
They were still a few details to iron out but what Chelsea were waiting on was the final go-ahead from Sevilla.
As they waited, Barcelona swooped in again and began hijacking the deal.
The La Liga giants moved quick and wrapped up the signing of the Frenchman for €50m, reported the BBC. Once again, the fee was lower than what Chelsea were willing to pay.
It was a summer where Barcelona showed just how big a club they are and Chelsea were unfortunately the victims on the other end.
The two biggest hijacked deals of the summer amazingly involved both clubs with Chelsea having to settle for Wesley Fofana and Raheem Sterling in the end as alternatives to the two Barca new boys – which ended up being not bad business at all.