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5 players who went on strike to force a transfer

  • Riyad Mahrez is apparently on strike at Leicester City, but he isn't the first to down tools in an attempt to force a transfer
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 07 Feb 2018, 20:15 IST

#2 Dimitar Berbatov at Tottenham Hotspur, 2008

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League
Dimitar Berbatov forced a move from Tottenham to Manchester United

When Spurs fans become annoyed at the constant linking of their top stars with Manchester United, it’s not without good reason and probably stems back to this nasty incident a few years ago.

After Dimitar Berbatov had spent two seasons at Spurs – scoring 23 goals in both – United began sniffing around the star striker, with Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson outright claiming that his side would likely sign the Bulgarian in the summer of 2008.

Naturally, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy – as well as the Spurs fans – were furious with this. Levy reported United to the FA for making an illegal approach to the player and then refused steadfastly to enter into any negotiations with Ferguson’s side for the player.

Unfortunately for Spurs, they hadn’t reckoned on Berbatov’s wish to play for United, at the time considered a far more successful and desirable club.

As 2008/09 started, the clearly unsettled player was named on the bench in Tottenham’s first game against Middlesbrough and then outright refused to travel to matches against Sunderland and Chelsea, causing Spurs to fine him a weeks’ wages.

When the club realised he probably didn’t care, they finally relented and sold him to United for £30.75m. Player power had earned another victory.


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Published 07 Feb 2018, 20:15 IST
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