Inside Maradona’s proposed £400,000 move to Sheffield United that fell through

Almost a year on from his death, stories from the life and career of Diego Maradona continue to shock and excite the football world.

One of the most infamous tales from Maradona's career amongst fans of British football is the time he came close to joining then Second Division side Sheffield United in the late 1970s.

The Blades failed to finalise the transfer and went on to sign fellow Argentine midfielder Alex Sabella from River Plate instead back in 1978.

While Maradona went on to win the World Cup as well as leagues and cups in Europe, Sheffield United succumbed to back to back relegations.

In 1978, Blades boss Harry Haslam spotted a 17-year-old Maradona playing for Argentinos Juniors during a scouting trip to South America.

Having been blown away by the ability of the teenager, Haslam arranged a £200,000 deal to bring him to Bramall Lane on the spot.

However, the Sheffield United board failed to pay the additional cash included in the deal to complete the transfer and sign Maradona.

Instead, the Blades signed his compatriot Sabella, who went on to make 76 appearances for the club across two years, scoring eight goals in the process.

What impact would Diego Maradona joining Sheffield United have had on English football? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Despite Sabella's impressive displays, the club were relegated to the Third Division in 1979 and then into the Fourth Division a year later.

By this point, Sabella had been sold to Leeds United for £400,000.

Meanwhile, Maradona went on to win the World Youth Championships in Japan with Argentina in 1979 and was named the player of the tournament after scoring six goals.

After a spell with Boca Juniors, he moved to Europe in 1982 to sign for Barcelona and spent two seasons in Spain.

In 1984, he joined Italian side Napoli and went on to win two league titles, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup during seven years in Italy.

He was instrumental as Argentina won their second World Cup in Mexico in 1986 and was again named as the player of the tournament.

Maradona went on to play for Sevilla, Newell's Old Boys and Boca Juniors again after leaving Napoli before retiring in 1997.

Back in Yorkshire, Sheffield United would not play in the top flight until 1990, over a decade after they had come close to signing Maradona.

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