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5 players who handed in infamous transfer requests in the Premier League

Nothing damages a player's relationship quite like a transfer request. Here are five of the most infamous.


Arsenal FC v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League
Alexis Sanchez is rumoured to be considering a transfer request

Current reports are flying around that both Alexis Sanchez and Philippe Coutinho will both hand in transfer requests before the end of the current window – both men looking to leave their clubs for more money and potentially more success.

Whether a transfer request would do any good is anyone’s guess. Sometimes the request turns out to be the final straw and enough to break the relationship between the player and club, but other times one – or both – parties manage to U-turn and end up staying where they are.

However you look at it, a transfer request is a big deal – it’s a statement of intent and to the fans, it’s often a sure sign of betrayal. Here are five players who handed in high-profile transfer requests, and what happened when they did.

#1 Wayne Rooney

Manchester United FC v VfL Wolfsburg - UEFA Champions League
Wayne Rooney's relationship with Manchester United was fractured by his 2010 transfer request

Upon his move to Everton this summer, Wayne Rooney sparked a debate between Manchester United fans as to whether he should be considered a true club legend like Cantona, Best or Charlton. On the face of it, it seems a silly question – Rooney spent thirteen seasons at Old Trafford, won everything there was to win and became United’s all-time top goalscorer. Essentially, the one thing counting against him was his infamous transfer request. 

2009/10 was one of Rooney’s greatest seasons – he scored 34 goals in 44 games, his highest tally at United – and despite a poor World Cup that summer, he was clearly the Red Devils’ key man going into 2010/11. Except Rooney wasn’t exactly happy with the situation at the club at the time. Not only had his relationship with manager Alex Ferguson broken down due to a disagreement over the extent of an ankle injury to the player, but Rooney also felt that United’s ambitions didn’t match his own.

Perhaps he had a point – the big signings of the summer of 2010 were Chris Smalling, Javier Hernandez and Bebe, after all, and the club had never truly replaced Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez – but questioning the club in the way Rooney did was essentially like stabbing the fans in the back, especially when the hot rumour had him moving across town to Manchester City, who were showing ambition, throwing money around like crazy.

Of course, one massive U-turn later – and a much richer contract paying him £250k a week – and Rooney decided to stay, eventually scoring probably his greatest goal against City a few months later, but his relationship with the fans was never quite the same.

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