Nine most controversial moves to rival clubs as Man City plot Paul Pogba swoop

Transfers don't come more controversial than the potential move for Manchester United star Paul Pogba to join neighbours Manchester City.

The soon-to-be free agent is being eyed up by Pep Guardiola, according to the Daily Mail. After six years of mediocrity with the Red Devils, his switch to serial winners City would send shockwaves through the city.

But history has shown that anything is possible when the right deal is put on the table. Many players have crossed the divide between rivals clubs to leave fans in disbelief, and Daily Star Sport is looking at nine who Pogba would be joining.

Sol Campbell: Tottenham to Arsenal

Making a move between rivals is bad enough, but doing so after previously dismissing the idea is even worse. Sol Campbell did just that in 2001 when his contract expired at Tottenham and he joined north London enemies Arsenal.

Long before the days of social media, the revelation only came to light when Arsene Wenger pulled a surprise announcement in a press conference which had only been attended by two reporters.

Campbell was quickly titled 'Judas' by the Spurs faithful, who never let their anger go following the betrayal by their former centre-back.

What's the most controversial transfer of all-time? Let us know in the comments section.

Carlos Tevez: Manchester United to Manchester City

Pogba wouldn't be the first to cross the Manchester divide from Old Trafford to the Etihad. Carlos Tevez trod that path in 2009 after Sir Alex Ferguson had refused to extend his deal.

It was more what followed that made the move so controversial. City fans erected the now infamous "Welcome to Manchester" billboard in Deansgate with Tevez pictured in blue.

However, after Tevez had fallen out with his new club, United supporters hit back with a billboard of their own plastered over the previous one with a parody "Welcome to Carlos" message written on it.

Luis Figo: Barcelona to Real Madrid

El Clasico is one of the fiercest derbies in world football, so it's not a wise idea to switch allegiances between the two La Liga giants, as Luis Figo quickly discovered in 2000.

Real Madrid activated the release clause in his Barcelona contract, so there was little he could do about the move. But that didn't stop him receiving a verbal beating from his old fans when he returned to the Camp Nou later that year.

They jeered him at every opportunity and launched missiles onto the pitch, including a pig's head which now sits in the Barca club museum as a reminder of the treachery.

Mario Gotze: Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich poaching the top talent from their Bundesliga rivals has become tradition in Germany, but the manner in which Mario Gotze handled his Borussia Dortmund exit ensured his 2013 transfer went down like a led balloon.

An announcement was made less than 36 hours before Dortmund's Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid. Then-boss Jurgen Klopp said: "It could have been timed better. Now I can say that time heals everything. It's going to take a while."

Such was the controversy that reports at the time claimed Dortmund requested police presence at their training ground as they feared their angered fans would make their feelings known.

Robin van Persie: Arsenal to Manchester United

While Arsenal and United may not be city rivals, the deal which saw Robin van Persie leave one to join the other is up there as the most shocking in Premier League history.

The Dutch striker had become the Gunners' star man and Fergie knew his goals could win them the title, which is exactly what happened the following season.

It was yet another heart-breaking departure for fans of Wenger's side. Van Persie tried to win them back by wearing a half-and-half Arsenal and United shirt upon his retirement, but it only furthered the "snake" taunts.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Juventus to Inter Milan

Controversy follows Zlatan Ibrahimovic wherever he goes. None of his several transfers have been quite as jaw-dropping as his switch from Juventus to Inter Milan, though.

The Old Lady were in disarray in 2006 after being stripped of their two Serie A titles and relegated to the Italian second division after being found guilty of match fixing in the Calciopoli scandal.

Many of their stars stuck by the club, but not Ibra. He and his agent Mino Raiola threatened legal action if they didn't let him leave, before he joined their biggest rivals Inter to rub salt into the wounds.

Nick Barmby: Everton to Liverpool

Everton fans are still seething to this day about Nick Barmby's unforgivable decision to swap the blue half of Merseyside for the red of Liverpool.

The midfielder had been offered the biggest contract in the club's history to stay with the Toffees after the turn of the century. But he knocked them back in favour of a switch to Anfield.

Just a matter of months later Barmby not only scored the opening goal in a 3-1 derby victory, but also celebrated like a mad man to hammer home his lack of loyalty.

Roberto Baggio: Fiorentina to Juventus

When a transfer sparks riots in the streets, you know it's a bad move. Fiorentina fans were in uproar in 1990 when Roberto Baggio deserted them for Juve.

As many as 50 people were injured in the chaotic scenes which reportedly saw bricks and Molotov cocktails thrown at the stadium, leading to Fiorentina president Flavio Pontello locking himself inside.

And the controversy didn't stop there. Baggio refused to take a penalty against his former side the next season, before later picking up a Fiorentina scarf which had been thrown onto the pitch.

Ashley Cole: Arsenal to Chelsea

England legend Ashley Cole had clearly not learned from the mistakes of his international team-mate Campbell when he left Arsenal in 2006. "I love this club but I suspect there are people at this club who do not want me to pull on a Gunners shirt again," he said.

"I still won't sign for another Premiership team as I could not see myself playing against Arsenal. I would only want to play abroad." But after a tapping-up scandal with Chelsea a year before, Cole then made the jump across London.

The move, which saw his wages doubled, earned him the nickname "Cashley" from bitter Arsenal fans who waved £20 notes at him when the two clubs next met.

Source: Read Full Article