Bale, Ronaldo, Robinho, Ramos... Real Madrid's deadline day deals
The Bernabéu board are pretty handy at the 11th-hour deal - David de Gea aside - as much in signings as fire sales such as Mesut Özil and Robinho.
The LaLiga transfer window closes at midnight CEST on Monday after months of rumours, speculation and false dawns. As things stand, there appears to be little on the horizon to cause a huge splash in Spain with Neymar’s return to Barça all but ruled out, Paul Pogba stuck at Manchester United and Christian Erikesen remaining at Spurs for another season.
On the other side of the coin, Real’s attempts to shift Gareth Bale – the scorer of both goals in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Villarreal – and James Rodríguez appear to have been shelved while Keylor Navas is on the verge of signing with PSG.
The Costa Rica stopper may not be the only mover on deadline day though, as these last-minute deals pulled off by the Bernabéu board prove. Just don’t mention David de Gea, and make sure the fax machine is switched on…
The Brazilian great was a surprise arrival on deadline day in the summer of 2002. After five seasons of ups and downs at Inter Milan – a Ballon d’Or in 1997 and an entire season on the sidelines in 200-01 – the Nerazzurri buckled an hour before the window shut and Florentino Pérez landed his latest Galáctico for €46 million. Ronaldo would go on to score 104 goals in 177 appearances for Madrid and won the Ballon d’Or again in his first season at the Bernabéu.
On 31 August, 2005, Sergio Ramos arrived at Real Madrid with the distinction of becoming Pérez’s first Spanish signing after five years at the helm. The highly rated Sevilla defender arrived at the Bernabéu at the age of 19 for a then Spanish record fee for a defender of €27 million. He has gone on to make over 600 appearances for Madrid and has bagged 84 goals for the club.
In the summer of 2008, Manchester City were eager to spend some of the cash that new owners Abu Dhabi United Group had provided after taking over the club. The arrival of Robinho for €42 million on 1 September, the final day of the Premier League window, was a huge statement of intent – even if the Brazilian mistakenly annouced he was delighted to have signed for Chelsea on arrival in Manchester. On the pitch, things didn’t work out quite as City had hoped and the Brazilian was shipped out to Milan after just two seasons, via a brief loan at Santos.
Daniel Levy was typically robust in negotiations over the Wales forward, who had scooped every player of the year award in 2012-13 after a sensational season at Tottenham. Pérez was not to be denied though and eventually agreed to a world record fee of 101m for the winger, who remains at Madrid after six seasons, one Liga title, one Copa del Rey and four Champions Leagues.
Nobody saw the bomba coming but just a day after Bale arrived at the Bernabéu on the final day of the Spanish market, the then Germany international moved to Arsenal on deadline day in England for a fee of €50 million. The move was certainly news to Cristiano Ronaldo, who was reportedly furious that his main source of assists had been discarded. Özil cited a lack of faith in him at the Bernabéu and a phone call from Arséne Wenger assuring him he would be a key player at Arsenal as the reasons for his last-minute departure.
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