10 players who contradicted themselves with their transfer moves
The former Arsenal left-back stood by and watched as team-mates Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor – among other big players such as Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez – joined Manchester City in summer 2009. Nonplussed, Clichy even went on record saying that only cash-hungry players would go to the Etihad Stadium.
"I really believe that if you're a player who thinks only about money, then you could end up at Manchester City," he declared. "You have to think if you want to play for a big club and have your image, or if you want to play for a good club and earn big money. When you ask someone to move for something like £300,000 a week it's just crazy."
We all know how this ends: Clichy joined City two years later – and immediately won the Premier League. Fair enough, really.
Following a controversial clash in the Champions League last 16 between Barcelona and Chelsea in 2005, Eto’o let rip with his feelings about Blues boss Jose Mourinho.
''Never will I sign for a team trained by Mourinho," spat the Cameroonian. "He wrecked things completely with his behaviour surrounding the two games between our sides.”
Before the match, Eto’o said that he’d "rather sell groundnuts in my village than to play for a pathetic team like Chelsea", and later confronted the Portuguese manager saying that he knew Mourinho was a great person and a great coach, but in truth, “was just a shit”.
'Never' turned out to be quite off the mark: Eto’o signed for Mourinho’s Inter in 2009 – winning a historic treble in his first season – before rejoining him at Chelsea in 2013. Ah.
Smith was among Leeds’ best players when he categorically claimed that he would "never play for Manchester United". As fate would have it, though, Leeds were relegated from the Premier League for the first time in 2004, and Smith turned his back on his boyhood club by joining the Red Devils that summer.
Later on, it was revealed that Leeds engineered the move as they were facing administration, and United were the only club willing to pay Smith’s transfer fee up front. In an interview with FourFourTwo years later, the former England man conceded: "I was young, naive and never thought that a) Man United would ever want me, and b) Leeds would sell me. Look how silly I was. Arguably the greatest club manager ever wanted me. How could I turn that down?"
To his credit, Smith also waived a substantial amount of money he was owed by Leeds from the transfer. "The last thing I wanted was to see them go bankrupt," he recalled.
Days before Arsenal’s League Cup final clash with Birmingham City in 2011, Nasri put an end to speculation around his future. "One of the reasons I came to Arsenal was to win titles, and I’m not expecting to leave this club without one," the Frenchman quipped.
Arsenal were flying high at the time and in the hunt for four trophies – notably, having beaten Barcelona 2-1 in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie a couple of days earlier.
However, it would turn into one of their infamous collapses: Arsene Wenger's side wound up losing to Birmingham in that final, getting knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United and suffering second-leg defeat against Barcelona. In the Premier League, they won only two of their last 11 games and finished fourth.
That summer, Nasri joined Manchester City for £25m.
Life was good for Vidal in Turin. He had established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world, having won four consecutive league titles with Juventus and reached the Champions League final with the Bianconeri for the first time since 2003.
"The people in Turin love me, I am feeling very well here and my family is feeling right at home," he beamed. "Why should I have any desire to leave?"
Four months later, Vidal asked to do just that – for Bayern Munich, as confirmed by Juventus director general Giuseppe Marotta. D'oh.