It should perhaps come as no surprise that Lazio have been left furious David Silva chose to join Real Sociedad on a free transfer.
Silva, after all, had reportedly agreed a three-year contract with the Serie A side and also had a medical lined up last week only for the former Manchester City player to head home to Spain.
It is a reminder that a deal isn’t done until the player is on the pitch and playing in the colours of the side who have signed him.
Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the near misses over the years and the deals that never were.
David Silva joined Real Sociedad last week after snubbing a three-year contract at Lazio
Jon Obi Mikel to Manchester United
Looking back this is the one seems the most ludicrous of all. In 2005 Manchester United announced that they had signed 18-year-old Jon Obi Mikel from Norwegian side Lyn Oslo.
It appeared to be a coup, Mikel was touted as a midfield star of the future and this was supposedly another example of Sir Alex Ferguson strengthening his dominant United side.
Mikel attended a press conference wearing the red of United and spoke of his delight at joining the club. ‘It’s totally fantastic to come to a club like Manchester United,’ Mikel said.
Jon Obi Mikel’s move to Manchester United appeared legitimate until it all turned sour
But it didn’t take long for things to go wrong when Chelsea claimed they had already signed Mikel.
It then became even more bizarre when Mikel himself said he had been forced into signing for United when he actually wanted to go to Stamford Bridge.
A year later and legal disputes finally resolved with Chelsea paying Lyn Oslo £4million and United £12m, Mikel eventually made the move to west London where he would stay for 11 years.
Steven Gerrard to Chelsea
For this one we need to go back 15 years to one of the biggest English transfer stories at the time.
Jose Mourinho was looking to bolster his Chelsea squad who had just won the Premier League in the 2004-05 season.
Steven Gerrard was highly admired by Mourinho who wanted him to play a key role in his midfield alongside England team-mate Frank Lampard.
Steven Gerrard said putting in a transfer request was the ‘most difficult decision of my life’
Gerrard handed in a transfer request in the summer of 2005 only six weeks after winning the Champions League with Liverpool after Chelsea’s bid of £32m was rejected.
Gerrard said at the time: ‘It was the most difficult decision of my life.’
He eventually changed his mind and opted to stay at Anfield, which he later described as ‘the best decision I have made’.
Kaka to Manchester City
A story that only recently came to light. Kaka’s agent revealed that the former Brazil international had been targeted by Manchester City in 2009 to become their marquee signing.
An astonishing bid of £88m was made by City but Kaka was said by his agent to have ‘absolutely refused’ a move to Manchester.
Kaka had been with AC Milan for six years by then and wasn’t particularly interested in a move away from San Siro at all. But Milan chose to cash in and sell their prized asset to Real Madrid instead.
A case of what might have been for one of the game’s greats.
Kaka had been lined up as a marquee signing by Manchester City before he joined Real Madrid
Paul Gascoigne to Manchester United
It is a story Tottenham fans know well and one Paul Gascoigne enjoys telling.
After demonstrating his quality for Newcastle in the 1987-88 season, Gascoigne was a man in demand.
He won the PFA Player of the Year and it led to Tottenham and Manchester United both declaring an interest in the English midfielder.
And confident United had beaten Tottenham to his signature, Sir Alex Ferguson went on holiday.
Paul Gascoigne was set to sign for Manchester United before Tottenham gazumped them
With Ferguson on holiday, Tottenham tried their luck and it paid off. Gascoigne retold the story to the Radio Times.
Gascoigne said: ‘I was thinking Man U is a massive club, so I thought I’ll go to Man U – they offered us big wages. Alex Ferguson says, “I’m going on holiday, I’ll see you when I get back.”
‘”OK, enjoy your holiday, I’ll sign.”
‘And so as I was driving to Manchester I get a phone call from Irving Scholar [chairman of Tottenham]: “Paul, we’ll give you £2,500-a-week. Not only that, we’ll buy your dad a house,” so I said, “Ma and dad, Spurs are gonna buy us a house, what do you think?” “Sounds good, son.” So I said, “All right then, yes”.’
Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Arsenal
Now this would have been quite the signing with hindsight and actually one that very much got away.
Long before Ibrahimovic had made a name for himself he was a youngster coming up through the ranks at Swedish side Malmo.
He had started to receive plenty of interest from the top clubs in Europe and Arsenal joined the growing list.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given a tour of Arsenal’s training ground and even wore the No 9 shirt
In fact to cement their interest they invited him for a trial. It led to a picture of Ibrahimovic in an Arsenal shirt with the No 9 on the back although the young striker never took part in a training session.
It was enough for Arsene Wenger not to take things any further. Wenger recalled: ‘The story is true that I wanted to see him and I gave him a chance to train with the first team. He didn’t want to do it at the time, so you cannot sign someone you have not seen play. I don’t regret it.’
Alas, he would later join Ajax before heading to Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona and onwards to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.
Robinho to Chelsea
It was the sign that Manchester City meant business. The final day of the summer transfer window in 2008 when they gazumped Chelsea to sign Robinho from Real Madrid.
He was City’s first mega signing as they snatched him away from the clutches of Chelsea boss Luis Felipe Scolari for £32.5m.
It was a move that ultimately failed with Robinho leaving City just 18 months into a four-year contract.
Robinho wanted to sign for Chelsea before Manchester City swooped in on deadline day
But money talked at the time as Robinho, who wanted to join Chelsea over City, told FourFourTwo in 2018. He said: ‘I wanted to go to Chelsea.
‘Scolari told me that I could make the difference for him in the team. However, Real Madrid ended up badly with them, they didn’t like the way that Chelsea sold shirts with my name on them before the deal was done.
‘I am sure it was this that led to the negotiations to fail and it was a case of pride for Real Madrid.
‘They were also reluctant to let me move to a club that was playing in the Champions League that season. Chelsea were, but City weren’t.’
David de Gea to Real Madrid
The infamous story of a fax machine and a wantaway player. David de Gea was in his prime for Manchester United in 2015 and that resulted in Real Madrid paying significant interest to the Spanish goalkeeper.
De Gea also wanted a move to the Santiago Bernabeu and it all appeared to be heading that way with United resigned to losing their No 1 stopper.
A deal was done only for United to send incomplete information to FIFA which was put down to a dodgy fax machine. Real pointed the blame in United’s direction but didn’t take the matter further.
Indeed, Real were back in for De Gea three years ago only for manager Zinedine Zidane to perform a U-turn of his own and opt to stick with Keylor Navas.
David de Gea’s move to Real Madrid in 2015 failed to go through due to incomplete paperwork