Chelsea coach Antonio Conte and indeed Blues faithful felt â€œbetrayedâ€ by Romelu Lukaku after the Everton forward opted to join Manchester United over Chelsea.Â Conte and Lukaku have been in regular contact this summer and the Italians feels â€œbetrayedâ€ that the striker rebuffed a return to Chelsea in favour of a link-up with Jose Mourinho.
Below are some of Manchester United transfer targets Chelsea hijacked in the past.
Manchester United fans were left confused by the news that Barcelona winger Pedro will be signing for Chelsea, after it seemed for the past month that deal to bring the Spaniard to Old Trafford was imminent.
2004 – Arjen Robben – PSV Eindhoven
Alex Ferguson was a big admirer of young Dutch winger Arjen Robben as he tore the Eredivisie apart for PSV Eindhoven, where he had previously purchased Jaap Stam and Ruud Van Nistelrooy from. The next player expected to switch Eindhoven for Manchester was Robben, but Chelsea came in and stole him away and he was an immediate success. While not quite the player he is for Bayern today, Robben was a big player for Chelsea, and Fergie would surely have loved to have had him at Old Trafford.
2005 – John Obi Mikel – Lyn Fotball
This is one that Fergie was probably very happy to wash his hands of as in one of the messiest transfer deals in recent history, Mikel had agreed to join United and even posed with the shirt, but Chelsea swooped and lured him to London instead. Rumours of kidnapping and brainwashing had been thrown about, and Chelsea in the end had to pay Manchester United around Â£16m in compensation which still makes United fans smile to this day, as Mikel was a bit crap and never held down a first team place.
2005 – Michael Essien – Lyon
Manchester United had the chance to sign Michael Essien as a youngster on trial, but after passing on the opportunity the club were willing to pay for their mistake and fork out to bring Essien to Old Trafford after dominant performances for Lyon in the Champions League. Instead, Chelsea again lured the player to England’s capital city by stumping up a huge fee at the time of Â£24.4m.
2006 – Michael Ballack – Bayern Munich
Chelsea really turned heads in the summer of 2006 when they agreed deals for international superstar Michael Ballack and the German was an important player for the Blues as they won two league titles and three FA Cups with him in the side. Ballack later revealed that he turned down Manchester United as the club wasn’t performing well in Europe.
2012 – Eden Hazard â€“ LilleÂ Â
One of the more ridiculous transfer sagas in recent memory, the tug-of-war between Chelsea and Manchester United was so close that Hazard announced a date that he would publicly announce his new destination, LeBron James style. A French TV show secured an exclusive interview with Hazard where he confirmed the colour he would be wearing next season was blue. Hazard was last year voted PFA Player Of The Year, and has emerged as one of the best talents in Europe. A case of what might have been for United fans.
2015 – Pedro – Barcelona
On August 18th 2015, it seemed a matter of time before Pedro was a Manchester United player. Personal terms were apparently agreed, it was just a matter of time before a fee was agreed. The following day, Pedro was flying to London for a Chelsea medical. We’ve since heard that Van Gaal was having second thoughts about Pedro, and that Cesc Fabregas’ wife told Pedro’s wife how great London was after Mourinho reacted to Chelsea’s 0-3 defeat to Manchester City, but what actually transpired is not yet clear.
Chelsea have gotten stronger in a position of questionable weakness, and have again taken a player from under Manchester United’s nose in the process.