Fabrizio Romano is an acclaimed journalist whose coverage of the football transfer window has been featured by leading news publishers, including The Guardian and Sky Sport.
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In the football transfer market great deals can be narrowly missed.
A minor detail or a single phone call can blow up a negotiation that has been going on for months. This happened more than once in January 2021.
So which transfer deals nearly made it and what happened behind the scenes? Here are five big deals from the January transfer window that came close.
1. Dele Alli to Paris Saint-Germain
Mauricio Pochettino wanted to take Alli with him to PSG when he returned in January – and did everything he could to buy him off Tottenham.
The deal was practically closed on loan with no option to buy, meaning that in June, Dele would return to London.
What threw off the deal was the decision of Spurs president Daniel Levy, who did not want to sell Alli without a replacement to buy on the market.
2. Christian Eriksen to Tottenham
Tottenham considered Eriksen's sensational return as a substitute for Dele Alli.
Inter opened the negotiations but wanted both the payment of the entire salary until June (€4 million) and a fee for the loan. For this reason, the agreement has vanished.
3. David Carmo to Liverpool
Looking for a central defender in the last hours of the January transfer market, the Reds management made an offer on Carmo.
The talented Portuguese defender was deemed perfect, but Braga demanded a payment of €30m. Liverpool were looking for an option-to-buy loan, so a deal that could have been closed fell through in the closing hours of Deadline Day.
4. Alejandro "Papu" Gomez to Cincinnati
Today Gomez is at Sevilla, a brilliant deal for the Spanish club. Gomez was, however, really close to a surprise move to MLS, specifically Cincinnati.
Coach Jaap Stam and the American club tried to convince him, but Gomez wanted to stay in Europe. That's why Sevilla won the race to buy in the last days of the transfer window, with Cincinnati coming close to this great signing.
5. Edin Dzeko to Inter Milan
The exchange for Dzeko at Inter and Alexis Sanchez at Roma was one step away from being done.
The two clubs reached an agreement in the last days of January, and even received the ok from the two forwards.
Yet just as everything was ready and set, the difference between the salaries of Sanchez and Dzeko created a problem. Dzeko costs Roma three million euros more and Inter did not want to spend this. Inter tried to get an equal exchange but the deal was cancelled right before it was closed.