9 craziest Premier League transfer rumours as Lingard linked with Barcelona move

The news that Jesse Lingard could soon be donning a Barcelona shirt has certainly seen some eyebrows raised.

The Manchester United star has not been happy with the playing-time on offer at Old Trafford and his representatives are in talks with several European clubs.

Over the years, the Premier League has seen its fair share of wild transfer rumours – with many actually being pulled off.

Some include the top clubs such as United, Chelsea and Manchester City while a handful of legends nearly signed for the lesser sides.

Here Daily Star Sport has provided a collection of the wackiest we have seen on these shores.

Jesse Lingard to Barcelona

A departure looks certain for Lingard with his contract expiring at the end of the season while he has rejected United's latest offer.

A number of Premier League clubs are interested including West Ham, where he was fantastic on loan last season, and Leicester.

But a move to Barcelona has not bee ruled out with the Spanish club operating largely in the bargain bin section of the transfer market due to their financial situation.

That could make him the first Englishman to play for Los Cules since Gary Lineker – and would be a shock to alll.

Zinedine Zidane to Blackburn

Back in 1995, Blackburn had just beaten United to the Premier League title in an extraordinary season for Rovers.

Zidane was an emerging talent catching the eye with Bordeaux at the time while club owner Jack Walker was not afraid to splash the cash.

However, despite flying out the mercurial midfield maestro to the Ewood Park where talks were held, that is as far as it went.

And why would they? Blackburn already had Tim Sherwood, of course.

Rivaldo to Bolton

Once upon a time, Bolton were the Lancashire Galacticos with Sam Allardyce at the helm – it was a strange time – and had several top stars on their books.

Included were former Real Madrid stars Fernando Hierro and Ivan Campo and the fabulous Jay-Jay Okocha but Rivaldo also nearly joined Wanderers.

According to the Brazilian’s agent, a deal was going “very well” and Allardyce made an amazing impression on the Samba star.

Prior to the move falling through, Rivaldo even said: “I want the challenge of trying to get Bolton into Europe for the first time in their history. It is an exciting time.”

Paolo Di Canio to United

Sir Alex Ferguson was desperate to sign Di Canio back in 2002 but the Scotsman insisted he wanted too much money.

"I tried so hard to get Di Canio," he said. "The deal was all done. We had made an offer he had accepted, but then he came back saying he wanted more. We couldn't agree to the new demand."

However, Di Canio would say that he did not want to leave West Ham at the time but his club would not feel the same when just a year and a half later, they released him and he would sign for Charlton.

Michael Essien to Burnley

Once of Chelsea and Real Madrid, Essien has had a prestigious career but Burnley were close to signing him at one point.

However, the Clarets decided against bringing him in – because they did not want to pay him £60 a week.

“I discovered Michael Essien had been on trial here for a few days,” former Burnley chairman Brendan Flood said. “One of the best players in the World Cup – and we hadn’t signed him.

“The club policy meant we wouldn’t pay an apprentice more than 60 quid a week. It smacked me in the face that the problem was a lack of communication within the club that stopped our youth guys making an exception to the rule.”

Pep Guardiola to Wigan

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Wigan will always pay homage to Paul Jewell for taking them to the Premier League for the first time in 2005 and were looking to bring in some top stars.

Among them included now-City manager Guardiola, who had just left Al-Ahli at the time and had played extensively for Barcelona over 11 years previously.

But a transfer failed to materialise and the Catalan candidly revealed why: “I was not good enough, that is the truth. I was old, really old!”

Peter Crouch, Ashley Barnes and Andy Carroll to Chelsea

Back in 2018, Antonio Conte was in charge at Chelsea and was desperate to find a big target man to pump balls to and have the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro play off them.

In mid-January, you could smell the desperation around Stamford Bridge when reports emerged that Carroll, Crouch and Barnes were all on Conte’s shortlist.

Fans across the country were shocked at the prospect of Crouchy in blue but Chelsea decided to look elsewhere, targeting Olivier Giroud instead – who would go on to become a cult hero at the club.

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