15 players Tottenham nearly signed including Ronaldo and three Liverpool icons

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.”

MbappeKylian Mbappe

Spurs are widely believed to have kept tabs on a 16-year-old Kylian Mbappe after he impressed for them against Monaco in a Champions League clash in 2015. The north Londoners, in an entirely self-aware stance, soon realised the 2018 World Cup winner was out of their reach.


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.

Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk: Then-Celtic star Van Dijk was strongly linked with Spurs when the Premier League side were looking for a new centre-back in 2015. The north Londoners ultimately signed Toby Alderweireld, who admittedly went on to forge a very successful career at White Hart Lane.


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.'”

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