10 players to commit their future to a club then leave: Suarez, Delph, Kaka

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Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham have all previously been stung by players going back on their word to stay at the club.

Earlier this summer, Antoine Griezmann pledged his future to Atletico Madrid amid interest from Barcelona via an hour-long documentary on Spanish TV.

But talk is cheep in football, and we’ve looked back at 10 players who publicly committed their future to a club, only to go on to leave anyway.

Luis Suarez 

Suarez delighted Liverpool fans everywhere when he came out in March 2014 and said he would stay at the club regardless of whether they qualified for the Champions League or not.

The Uruguayan had previously signed a new four-and-a-half year deal back in December following a turbulent year which featured Arsenal bidding £40,000,001 for the striker.

When asked about the contract in March 2014, Suarez said: “I signed my new contract because I’m very happy here and I want to stay where I’m enjoying football and life. Playing in the Champions League isn’t dependent on that.”

Six months after signing the new deal and one bite at the World Cup later, Suarez was a Barcelona player.

Kaka

If you ever got to watch Kaka in his AC Milan days then you will know exactly why this man attracted interest from the biggest clubs in the world.

The Brazilian, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2007, was adored by the Milan faithful, and in June 2009 he assured those fans he was staying put.

“I say it for the last time, I don’t want to leave Milan,” he said. “In this period I prefer to stay quiet because I don’t want to be misinterpreted.

“To the millions of Rossoneri [AC Milan] fans I say my decision has been made. I have said I want to stay. Now please leave me in peace.

“Thank God we qualified for the Champions League. We missed it and I missed it. I want to keep winning with Milan. I’m staying at Milan. And as of today, this case is over.”

Less than a month later, he moved to Real Madrid for over £50million.

READ: Remembering seven times Kaka was one of the world’s best footballers

Stewart Downing 

Downing left Aston Villa for Liverpool in July 2011, just two months after insisting he was happy to stay at the “fantastic club”.

The winger had just been named Villa’s Player of the Season after an excellent campaign which caught the eye of plenty of teams.

Despite the interest, Downing said he had opened talks for a new contract, adding: “The important thing in football is, if you’re happy, then why change it?”

It’s a question he may have asked himself again down the line…

Sol Campbell

If Campbell moving across north London wasn’t bad enough for Spurs fans, it was compounded by his pledge to stay on the Tottenham side.

“I want to play for Tottenham – that’s it. I’ve been here for so long and there’s no reason to think I would want to leave,” he said in 2001, six months before joining Arsenal.

“For me to do well at this club would mean everything. I play for Spurs with a passion and desire, and it hurts me when we lose.”

Luckily for Sol, he went on to become an Invincible at Arsenal, so he didn’t have to be hurt by losing all that often.

READ: 13 of the best free transfers of the modern era: Milner, Larsson, Pirlo

Thiago Silva 

On the July 2, 2012, Silva signed a huge five-year deal to commit his future to AC Milan.

On July 14, 2012, PSG announced the signing of the Brazil international.

‘Nuff said.

Emmanuel Adebayor

From vowing to stay at Arsenal to running the length of the pitch to goad their fans as a Manchester City player, things changed pretty quickly for Adebayor.

The striker tried to put speculation surrounding his future to rest in May 2009 when he came out and said: “Arsenal put me where I am today – they made me one of the biggest strikers in the world, I have to pay them back.

“How am I going to pay them back? Make them win trophies. That is what I am here for and I have to fight for that. I do not have any reason for leaving until I get the trophies that I came here for.”

Later that summer, he joined Manchester City, and you know the rest.

READ: The Joy Of…Players celebrating to wind up fans: Sheedy, Neville, Adebayor

Dimitar Berbatov 

In January 2008, Berbatov publicly criticised his own agent for suggesting he wanted to sign for a “bigger club” than Tottenham.

“I am a Tottenham player and I’m trying to give my best, so I can help my team,” Berbatov said. “I’m happy when we play well and I’m miserable when we lose our games.

“I’m happy at the moment. You can win titles and medals with every team and I can win with Tottenham too.”

Come the summer, the silky-skilled forward signed for Manchester United for a fee in the excess of £30million.

Luis Figo

We don’t really need to tell you about this.

“I want to reassure fans that Luis Figo, with all the certainty in the world, will be at the Camp Nou on July 24 to start the season,” the player himself said in 2000.

Moving from Barcelona to Real Madrid is one thing but to do so after publicly declaring you were staying at the Catalan giants. Figo had cojones, we’ll give him that.

He also had a pig’s head when he returned to the Barca.

Fabian Delph

He was going, he was definitely staying, and then he actually left. A good old fashioned double U-turn.

After initially appearing set for a move to Manchester City, the midfielder cleared up his future on July 11, 2015, saying: “I’m aware there has been intense media speculation surrounding my future in the last 24 hours and I want to set the record straight.

“I’m not leaving. I’m staying at the football club and I can’t wait for the start of the season and captaining this great football club.”

Six days later, Delph did indeed join Manchester City, which cleared up his future much more effectively.

Cesc Fabregas

In 2008, Fabregas said he wanted to stay at Arsenal for the rest of his life. Although three years prior to his eventual transfer away – he should have known football fans never forget.

“I am very happy, everything is going well, I have got friends in the club,” he said. “I like the life and I am comfortable with the fans.

“If they don’t want me here, then of course I would like to go back to Spain. But if the club wants me and the boss thinks I still can give a lot to the club, then I will stay here. I will be here for as long as they want me.”

But when Barcelona come knocking, players also don’t tend to be able to say no, especially for a player raised at La Masia.


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