A look at 5 of the most thrilling transfer sagas of all time
Ever since the 1990s and especially since the Bosman ruling back in 1995, football transfer windows have become a big part of club football in Europe.
Some of the biggest clubs in the world pursue the biggest names in the game and in addition to the huge amounts of money involved in those deals, they usually turn into what the football press calls 'transfer sagas'.
Top-level European clubs have all been involved in such transfer sagas and the aftermath of those long drawn out transfers are felt to this day.
Here is a look at some of the biggest and thrilling transfer sagas that only captured the imagination of football fans but left them hooked to every aspect of the saga as it happened.
#5 Sol Campbell to Arsenal, 2001
This was not only a thrilling saga but perhaps the most shocking transfer in English football in the Premier League era.
Campbell had risen from the youth ranks at Tottenham Hotspur and during his association with the club dating back to 1989, he had risen to become not only the club's captain but also one of the top defenders in England.
However, in 2000, he had refused to sign a new contract with the club and amidst interest from some of the biggest clubs in Europe, the defender had said that he had no plans of leaving Spurs.
Secret meetings had, however, taken place with Tottenham's bitter North London rivals Arsenal and on the 3rd of July 2001, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger unveiled him as a Gunner in a dramatic press conference.
While the press pack was expecting the announcement of goalkeeper Richard Wright, Wenger unveiled Campbell. He had been able to poach not only the league's premier defender but the captain of Arsenal's bitter rivals and that too on a free.
It is another matter that Campbell was given a substantial signing bonus. He went on to win two league titles and was part of the legendary 'Invincible' side that went through the league campaign unbeaten in 2003-04. However, he is still known as 'Judas' among Spurs fans.