Tottenham and near-misses often come hand in hand. Spurs have had an array of players nearly join them, some being players who would have been the difference in them finally ending their near-two-decade-long wait for a trophy. Express Sport looks at some of the players who Spurs have nearly signed over the years…
Willian: The most famous example of Tottenham failing to sign a player was Willian’s near-arrival in the summer of 2013. The Brazilian was so close to signing for Spurs that he even undertook hours of medical examinations at White Hart Lane and then-boss Andre Villas-Boas effectively confirmed it in a press conference.
But Chelsea completed a remarkable hijack, stealing the winger at the last moment, with Jose Mourinho quipping: “That’s the danger of medicals before contracts.”
Cristiano Ronaldo: Former player and scout Ronny Rosenthal recently revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo was one of several players Spurs refused to listen to him about. He told The Athletic: “There are hundreds of players that if the clubs had listened… one of the ones I’ll never forget is Cristiano Ronaldo, who I saw because I was going a lot to Portugal at that time.”
Ronaldo, of course, went on to become a legendary figure on the world stage, scoring hundreds of goals for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, alongside winning the Ballon d’Or five times.
Diego Maradona: Teddy Sheringham once revealed that Spurs were in talks to sign Diego Maradona. Ossie Ardiles approached the England striker for his view on a potential signing, with Sheringham asking who.
“He was like ‘Diego Maradona’, and I went ‘Ossie, Ossie, really!? Are you?’ I went ‘Do, just do it’,” Sheringham recalled.
“He said ‘I’m in talks with him at the moment’, and I was like ‘My God, do it, it would be brilliant to play with him.'”