Stars who were headed to Tottenham but ended up elsewhere

Tue 21 June 2022 | 4:30

Tottenham Hotspur had big plans for the January window, but ended up falling short of many fans’ expectations. Read on to learn more about players who were headed to Tottenham but ended up elsewhere.

Tottenham Hotspur

, in the past 10 years, has turned itself into one of the top clubs in England's Premier League football. Their organization, under the management of Daniel Levy, has seen some of the best years in its history, including finishing second in the Premier League as well as being a finalist in the lucrative UEFA Champions League.

They are now considered one of the strong teams in the Premier League financially, and thus, it was expected they to be active in transfer windows in order to strengthen their team.

They have recruited and signed some of the best talents in Europe's football, however, there have been numerous times that situations turned for the worse for them and they were not able to sign the players that they had wanted.

Stars Who were headed to Tottenham but ended up elsewhere:

Here in this article, we want to go through some of the names that were very close to signing for Tottenham Hotspur, but in the end, they decided to either extend their contract with their current club or join another team other than Spurs.

Yanick Carrasco – 2015

  • Full name: Yannick Ferreira Carrasco

  • Date of birth: 4 September 1993 (age 28)

  • Place of birth: Vilvoorde, Belgium

  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Position(s): Winger, wing-back

  • Current team: Atlético Madrid

The first on the list of the

stars who were headed to Tottenham

is Yanick Carrasco. Back in 2014, he was a top prospect among European teams.

He had just finished the season with Monaco with 8 goals and 14 assists, on top of that he could play as both left and right midfielder and Winger which made him the perfect option for both 4-3-3 formations and 4-2-3-1 formations.

Tottenham, as well as a dozen European teams, made their offers to the Belgian but in the end, he decided to take his talent to Spain and develop his game on their

Diego Simeone

Atletico Madrid. I transferred that cost them €15 million.

Harry Maguire – 2017

  • Full name: Jacob Harry Maguire

  • Date of birth: 5 March 1993 (age 29)

  • Place of birth: Sheffield, England

  • Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.94 m)

  • Position(s): Centre-back

  • Current team: Manchester United

England and Manchester United captain,

Harry Maguire

was one of the players that were admired by

Mauricio Pochettino

, the Spurs coach at the time.

He was playing for Hull City back then and although three goals and three assists for a good stat for a central defender, Maguire's defensive strength was what turned him into a big name during that summer in 2017.

Leicester City snatched him the €14 million offer, and wild cotton home was able to increase their offer, the player did not want to go to a playing team that might not give him the amount of time he wanted, and because Harry Maguire was a player in England squad at the time, he wanted to have as much playing time as possible.

Leicester City must now be happy with the transfer as they have sold it with almost a €70-million profit to Manchester United.

Douglas Costa – 2017

  • Full name: Douglas Costa de Souza

  • Date of birth: 14 September 1990 (age 31)

  • Place of birth: Sapucaia do Sul, Brazil

  • Height: 1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)

  • Position(s): Winger, attacking midfielder

  • Current team: LA Galaxy (on loan from Juventus)

Douglas Costa

, the Brazilian Winger, is next on the list of the

stars who were headed to Tottenham

. At the end of the 2016-17 season, Douglas Costa had some problems within the team coaching staff and reportedly had a feud with a couple of teammates, so he decided to leave the club and the European clubs are ready to sign the speedster.

He was approached by Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, and Juventus. Back then he had a price tag of €40 million and this price tag moved Athletico out of the race but the other three were still interested in the Brazilian.

Tottenham's offer included Kyle Walker, plus cash to Bayern and the German club liked this package, especially as they were looking for a right-back in the market after the departure of their legendary captain,

Philip Lahm


Douglas Costa, however, refused a move to Tottenham and became a Juventus player, in the end, rejecting both British clubs. His manager later stated that he's not a fan of Premier League the style of football and that's why he decided to take his talents to Italy.

Event has bought him on a loan with a supplementary option to buy him permanently for €40 million.

Javier Hernandez – 2017

  • Full name: Javier Hernández Balcázar

  • Date of birth: 1 June 1988 (age 34)

  • Place of birth: Guadalajara, Mexico

  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

  • Current team: LA Galaxy

Javier Hernandez

, also known as Chicharito, had a wonderful season at Bayern Leverkusen during the 2016-17 season. He has scored 13 goals and made 4 assists in all competitions for the German side and with his experience, Tottenham found him a good substitution player for their main striker, Harry Kane, who was at the time one of the top prospects in Europe.

Spurs initially made a €12 million offer to Bayer, but the German club decline the offer. In the meantime, another Premier League club, West Ham, meet their proposal to acquire the Mexican for €15 million, forcing Tottenham to increase their offer and match with West Ham's.

Ultimately it came to the players to decide, Javier Hernandez decided to join the Hammers because he felt that he could have a more influential role in the team.

Patrik Schick – 2017

  • Full name: Patrik Schick

  • Date of birth: 24 January 1996 (age 26)

  • Place of birth: Prague, Czech Republic

  • Height: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)

  • Position(s): Forward

  • Current team: Bayer Leverkusen

The Czech 26-year-old was next in line in the transfer window of 2017 for Tottenham Hotspur. Young Patrick almost mirrored the same stats as Javier Hernandez; 13 goals and four assists as a Sampdoria player in Serie A.


Patrik Schick

was not as simple as Javier Hernandez would have been because Patrick Schick was younger and had a lot more offers on the table back in 2017. The Spur's initial offer was €25 million which was declined almost immediately by Sampdoria.

Tottenham did not intend to spend more than €35 million on him, but this wasn't the deal-breaker. Unfortunately for Spurs, the player himself decided to stay in Serie A and join a bigger club, AS Roma.

Romo was able to sign him on a loan with a compulsory option to buy him a season afterward for €40 million. Tottenham finally settled with Fernando Llorente.

Ross Barkley – 2016, 2017, 2018

  • Full name: Ross Barkley

  • Date of birth: 5 December 1993 (age 28)

  • Place of birth: Liverpool, England

  • Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.89 m)

  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder

  • Current team: Chelsea

Ross Barkley

was one of the players that Tottenham wanted to sign for a long time, almost 3 years. He was a favorite to Pochettino and his style of play but at the same time, Tottenham had other players in the same position.

They tried to find a solution with Everton, but the problem was, that Barkley wanted to move to another London Club; Chelsea. The saga continued for so long that the British media started to mock Spurs and their inability to sign the player.

In the end, Ross Barkley got his wish and signed for Chelsea in January 2018, but was never able to repeat his amazing performances at Chelsea due to his unfortunate injuries.

Leon Goretzka – 2018

  • Full name: Leon Christoph Goretzka

  • Date of birth: 6 February 1995 (age 27)

  • Place of birth: Bochum, Germany

  • Height: 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)

  • Position(s): Midfielder

  • Current team: Bayern Munich

After the embarrassment that happened with Ross Barkley, the club decided to go for another young and talented midfielder, this time from Germany.

Leon Goretzka

, who was 22 at the time was one of the best young players in Bundesliga during the season.

Although Tottenham was not alone in the race of signing the young midfielder; Real Madrid, Manchester City, and most importantly, Bayern Munich was interested in signing Goretzka, and the fact that the player's contract had run out and he could join any of the clubs he wanted, for free, made everything more interesting and more complicated.

Finally, it was Bayern Munich that persuaded the young German that they can help him develop and grow even more in his position by delegating an important role to him.

Thomas Lemar – 2018

  • Full name: Thomas Benoît Lemar

  • Date of birth: 12 November 1995 (age 26)

  • Place of birth: Baie-Mahault, Guadeloupe, France

  • Height: 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in)

  • Position(s): Midfielder

  • Current team: Atlético Madrid

After the amazing season, Monaco had in 2017, a lot of their players decided to join other big clubs in Europe but

Thomas Lemar

decided to stay for one more year.

But after not being able to repeat their previous success, he too decided to Part ways and increase his chances to be in the France national team squad for the World Cup. Due to this position, which is a left midfielder, a lot of clubs were interested in him.

Tottenham was one of the teams that had the lead in the race of signing Lemar but all of that changed when Diego Simeone decided to contact Lamar and personally explain to him his role in Athletico Madrid.

This seemed to have changed Lamar's perspective on moving to a Premier League club, and instead, he decided to join Athletico Madrid for a fee of €72 million.

Keita Baldé – 2018

  • Full name: Keita Baldé Diao

  • Date of birth: 8 March 1995 (age 27)

  • Place of birth: Arbúcies, Spain

  • Height: 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)

  • Position(s): Forward, winger

  • Current team: Cagliari

After the disappointment of not being able to sign Thomas Lemar, Tottenham decided to focus on another Monaco player with the same tactical abilities, Keita Balde.

Statistically speaking, Balde even had a better season than Lamar, with eight goals and 11 assists to his name, but has a lower price tag due to his inconsistency in performances; he came from one of the best players in Serie A in 2014 at Lazio, the benchwarmer at the same club in 2016, but after moving to Monaco he seemed to have redeemed himself.

When he was faced with Tottenham's offer, his agent was rooting for him to push a premier league move but Balde decided to play it safe and go back to Italy and wear Inter Milan's shirt in a loan move.

A decision that he probably regrets now because neither side experienced any advantage from the transfer, and Tottenham went on to sign Lucas Moura from

Paris Saint-Germain


André Gomes – 2018

  • Full name: André Filipe Tavares Gomes

  • Date of birth: 30 July 1993 (age 28)

  • Place of birth: Grijó, Portugal

  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)

  • Position(s): Central midfielder

  • Current team: Everton

The Portuguese midfielder was supposed to be Andres Iniesta's successor for years to come for Barcelona. When he joined the Catalans in 2016, he was one of the best midfielders in La Liga but things went sideways.

He did not get the amount of playing time he wanted in Barcelona due to the squad's depth in his position, and if you look at his stats, it'll show that he never truly coped with the pressure that came with playing at Barcelona.

Eventually, the club decided to sell him in 2018, and immediately Premier League clubs since their offers to Barcelona. Tottenham and Everton were the two teams that really pushed a move who are the Portuguese.

Mousa Dembele's contract was going out and he does the Spurs needed a replacement for him. Unfortunately for them,


decided to join Everton as he saw his opportunities to play as a starting player were much more. Everton signed him with €30 million.

Ante Rebic – 2019

  • Full name: Ante Rebić

  • Date of birth: 21 September 1993 (age 28)

  • Place of birth: Split, Croatia

  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Position(s): Winger, second striker

  • Current team: AC Milan

Ante Rebic

had been passed around between Fiorentina and Frankfurt since 2016 but after his fantastic year during the 2018-19 season, and his good performances during the World Cup, where his side of Croatia reached the final, top clubs decided to put him in their transfers list.

He had scored 10 goals and provided 6 assists to his teammates that year, in addition, he helped his Club to be in the semi-finals of the Europa League. He was approached by Tottenham, Arsenal, Everton, AC Milan, and Atletico Madrid that summer.

Frankfurt demanded a trade between any of these clubs so that they can find a player to replace Rebic. This decision moved Tottenham out of the race because, at the time, Tottenham had players in that position that was either too crucial or not worthy enough for a trade, in Frankfurt's view.

In the end, it was Milan that proposed the best offer they traded their Portuguese a striker, Andre Silva, plus some cash to bring the Croatian to San Siro.

A move that was advantageous for both sides as Rebic helped Milan to win the Serie A title in the last season, and Frankfurt sold Andre Silva at a high-profit price.

Adrien Rabiot – 2019

  • Full name: Adrien Rabiot-Provost

  • Date of birth: 3 April 1995 (age 27)

  • Place of birth: Saint-Maurice, France

  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)

  • Position(s): Central midfielder

  • Current team: Juventus

After the departure of players like Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama, Tottenham decided to bring in new midfielders and

Adrien Rabiot

was on the top of their list.

The French player's contract was out and he had publicly stated that he was not going to renew his contract with Paris Saint-Germain so clubs around Europe were desperate to sign the French International.

Rabiot's physical status as well as his tactical abilities made him one of the top prospects for Tottenham. After long negotiations, where even Pochettino talked with the player and his agent and they agreed on a €7.5 million yearly salary, it was concluded that Rabiot is not interested in a move to the Premier League and decided to join the Italian champions, Juventus.

After this Tottenham decided to focus on another French International, Tanguy Ndombélé from Lyon, and they were able to sign him for €60 million, making Ndombélé the most expensive signing in the club’s history. Spurs, now, might wish they had pushed harder for the Rabiot deal.

Ozan Kabak – 2019

  • Full name: Ozan Muhammed Kabak

  • Date of birth: 25 March 2000 (age 22)

  • Place of birth: Ankara, Turkey

  • Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Position(s): Centre-back

  • Current team: Norwich City (on loan from Schalke 04)

In January 2019, Stuttgart signed 19-year-old central defender,

Ozan Kabak

, after he won the championship in the Turkish League with Galatasaray. Kabak immediately became a fan favorite in Bundesliga as one of the best under-20 Bundesliga Defenders.

That summer a lot of Clubs, including Tottenham, decided to send their offers to Stuttgart in order to acquire Kabak. But at the time, the club have Defenders like Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, and Dier, thus, Kabak's agents preferred that he wouldn't join Tottenham because he may not have played as much as he needed to develop and grow as a very young player.

Eventually, Kabak decided to stay in Bundesliga and join Schalke 04.  He did, however, experience Premier League a year after, when Liverpool signed him on loan for half a season, and then again just this summer he signed a new contract with Norwich.

Bruno Fernandes – 2020

  • Full name: Bruno Miguel Borges Fernandes

  • Date of birth: 8 September 1994 (age 27)

  • Place of birth: Maia, Portugal

  • Height: 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Position(s): Attacking midfielder

  • Current team: Manchester United

Unlike other players that we have read about in this article,

Bruno Fernandes

' case is a bit different. In the summer of 2019, Manchester United and Tottenham had tried their best to sign the Portuguese midfielder but failed to do so as the clubs didn't agree on the price tag.

In January 2020 however, both clubs decided to send other proposals to Sporting CP in order to acquire Bruno Fernandes; Manchester United felt the need to add a world-class attacking midfielder into their squad so that they can compete in the title race in the Premier League, and Tottenham, that had just seen their attacking midfielder, Erickson, left the club, wanted to replace him.

Their Portuguese coach, Jose Mourinho, push the club to make another offer for his countryman. Tottenham was late and by the time they wanted to submit their offer, Manchester United had already come to an agreement with the sporting to sign Fernandes.

After this failure, Tottenham paid €30 million to PSV Eindhoven to bring in the young Dutchman, Steven Bergwijn.

Arkadiusz Milik – 2021

  • Full name: Arkadiusz Krystian Milik

  • Date of birth: 28 February 1994 (age 28)

  • Place of birth: Tychy, Poland

  • Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Position(s): Striker

  • Current team: Marseille (on loan from Napoli)

January 2021 Napoli decided to sell their Striker,

Arkadiusz Milik

. Milik, who had scored 14 goals in the 2019-20 season, caught the eyes of Tottenham board members as a feasible substitute for Harry Kane.

Tottenham was interested in a loan move in which they had to pay for the player's salary only. Napoli, on the other hand, was okay with the loan move but they required some extra cash you know what they're for the transfer to be complete.

Tottenham made a €2.5 million offer, but it was Olympique Marseille that scooped the deal by offering monopolies €4 million on a six-month loan move, and finally, Milik was transferred to Ligue 1.

Marcel Sabitzer – 2021

  • Full name: Marcel Sabitzer

  • Date of birth: 17 March 1994 (age 28)

  • Place of birth: Wels, Upper Austria, Austria

  • Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Position(s): Midfielder, forward

  • Current team: Bayern Munich

Marcel Sabitzer

is another attacking midfielder Tottenham tried to buy. By the end of the 2020-21 season, Sabitzer had participated in 16 goals for RB Leipzig; 9 goals and 7 assists.

With these statistics, Tottenham decided to make an offer for him as they have lost Erickson. RB Leipzig had already sold some of its best players to other teams such as two Central Defenders and three midfielders so they did not want to lose Sabitzer, as well.

Thus, they demanded a €40 million offer in order to let go of the Austrian. The price tag didn't seem to be a deal-breaker for Tottenham and they were ready to complete the transfer but the negotiation with the player and his agent was very tough.

In the end, the Austrian decided to stay in Bundesliga and demanded a move to Bayern Munich, a transfer that took place in the very last hour of the summer transfer window.

Adama Traoré – 2022

  • Full name: Adama Traoré Diarra

  • Date of birth: 25 January 1996 (age 26)

  • Place of birth: L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain

  • Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Position(s): Winger

  • Current team: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Traore decided to leave Wolverhampton during winter transfer this past season due to the lack of playing time he was getting at the club. The race to transfer the 26-year-old speedster was between Tottenham and



Tottenham wanted a permanent deal, in which they would pay €20 million for the player and they would give Traore a €120,000 wage. Barcelona on the other hand was offering a loan move for 6 months in which they only pay for the player's current €12,000 wage.

Wolverhampton, obviously, agreed to Tottenham's offer and decided to accept the offer, but, Adama insisted on a move to Barcelona, his childhood club so that he can fulfill his dream of playing as a starter in the Camp Nou.

A wish that was respected by Wolverhampton and the player eventually went to Barcelona. Although you can't call the move a success for either side after his performances in the Catalan shirt.

Luis Díaz – 2022

  • Full name: Luis Fernando Díaz Marulanda

  • Date of birth: 13 January 1997 (age 25)

  • Place of birth: Barrancas, Colombia

  • Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)

  • Position(s): Winger

  • Current team: Liverpool

After the Ross Barkley situation in 2018,

Luis Diaz

became the new transfer that caused British media to make fun of Tottenham, once again. During the summer transfers, Liverpool and Tottenham tried to force a move for the Colombian Winger from Porto.

Although the Portuguese club stood on its ground and insisted that they want at least €75 million to complete the transfer. A number that's neither club was able to pay, nor did they find reasonable, for a player in Diaz's situation at the time, and the transfer was canceled.

During the first half of the season, Tottenham decided to continue the negotiations for Diaz with Porto in order to buy him in the winter transfer window. A smart move by Tottenham, or so they thought.

By Christmas time, Port of finally agreed to let go of the Columbian with €50 million, and as soon as Liverpool receive the word, they proposed a new offer for Diaz.

Porto inform the player of the two offers and he chose to go to Merseyside and play under the management of Jurgen Klopp, instead of a move to the north London Club.

After a transfer almost everyone made fun of Tottenham's lack of determination to sign such an influential player.

Players that stayed with their current clubs, instead of signing for Tottenham:

There are also several players that refused a move to Tottenham Hotspur and decided to continue their time in their current club.

Isco (Real Madrid) – 2018

After a season that ended with


playing as a substitute player for Real Madrid, it was stated that he wanted to leave the Spanish club. Tottenham made a bid for the player but it was refused by Real Madrid as they saw Isco as an important player for their squad, even as a substitute player.

Kovacic (Real Madrid) – 2017

Almost the same situation that happened with Isco, happened with Mateo Kovacic. The Croatian was one of Zidane’s favorite players, but due to the presence of Kroos, Modric, and Casemiro trio, it was impossible for Kovacic to become a starter in the squad and he felt the need to play as much as possible if he is to join Croatia national team for the 2018 World Cup.

Tottenham had small talks with the player’s agents but in the end, Kovacic stayed at the club for another season, only to leave to another Premier League club, Chelsea.

Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace) – 2016, 2017, 2019

There is not a big club in England that hadn’t tried to sign Wilfred Zaha after seeing his performances with Crystal Palace. Tottenham planned for signing him on three different occasions and each time they were unable to do so.

Either Palace was not happy with the price or the player was not convinced he could be an important part of the squad in Tottenham.

Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo) – 2017

When a club hears a player contribute 21 Goals or assists in 25 games in a season, and he is not yet 23, it is obvious that they would be interested in signing him.

Domenico Berardi

’s move to Tottenham, or Premier League in general, was an interesting story to follow in the summer of 2017. A story that never came true as Berardi and his agents decided that the rough football in England did not suit Berardi’s style of play and Domenico stayed at Sassuolo.

Dries Mertens (Napoli) – 2018

After scoring 22 goals and providing 12 assists in the 2017/18 season, and with his contract looking to run out, Tottenham sent a bid to Napoli for him, but the offer was immediately declined by De Laurentiis as he called


“the superstar” of his team and a player that would surely continue with Napoli. A statement that was true as Mertens expended his contract and stayed at the club up until this very season.

Paulo Dybala (Juventus) – 2020

Maurizio Sarri was Juventus’s coach during the 2019/20 season and he believed a player, even as talented as


, doesn’t adapt to his style of playing. A debate that led to all kinds of chaos in Turin. Pochettino, quickly, called his countryman and persuaded him of a move to Tottenham.

The two clubs even agree on a €75 million price for the transfer but everything changed after Juventus and Sarri decided to part ways and Dybala stayed at Juventus for the remainder of his contract, leaving Tottenham fans in awe.

Milan Škriniar – 2020

After the departure of Tottenham’s veteran defender, Jan Vertonghen, the club decided to focus on signing a strong defender and Inter’s Milan Škriniar came to their attention.

A move that didn’t take place as Spurs wanted to spend €50 million, at most for a defender while Inter demanded at least €70 million from the London club. Tottenham, a season after that, bought Cristian Romero from another Serie A club, Atalanta.




 for the 

latest football news

source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.