How Wags Have Scuppered Footballers’ Transfers
Footballers are constantly on the move, having to uproot their families and sometimes even settle in foreign countries. While many players make decisions based on their own career aspirations, there are instances where their partners, often referred to as Wags (Wives and Girlfriends), have a significant influence on their transfer decisions. In this article, we will explore six cases where Wags have scuppered their partners’ transfers.
1. Thomas Muller to Man Utd
Back in 2015, former Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal revealed that Thomas Muller’s wife, Lisa, played a role in blocking his proposed £84 million move to Old Trafford. Despite the allure of a £16 million-per-year pay packet, Lisa’s reluctance to move abroad, as she was a professional equestrian, led to the transfer being rejected. Van Gaal stated, “In 2015 it would have been possible if his wife had been a little more open to a transfer abroad.”
2. Mauro Icardi to Newcastle
Mauro Icardi’s ex-wife, Wanda Nara, was known for wearing the trousers in their relationship and acting as his agent. When newly moneyed Newcastle attempted to make an offer for the PSG forward, Wanda reportedly shut down any possibility of a move. A source revealed, “Leaving Paris is not in Mauro and Wanda’s plans, it’s the last thing they want.” It seems Tyneside was not on their radar, as Icardi eventually left Paris for Galatasaray on loan.
3. Olivier Giroud to Everton
In the summer of 2017, Olivier Giroud had an offer from Everton on the table. The move would have provided him with more game-time after losing his first-team spot at Arsenal. However, then-manager Sam Allardyce revealed that Giroud’s wife, Jennifer, was not interested in relocating to Liverpool. Allardyce humorously stated, “He [Giroud] doesn’t want to move north of London, I don’t think. Or his wife doesn’t. It is very important to the wives, you know.”
4. Robert Lewandowski to PSG
Before Neymar and Kylian Mbappe joined PSG, the French club reportedly had their sights set on Robert Lewandowski in 2017. However, rumors circulated that Lewandowski’s wife, Anna, did not want to move to Paris, leading him to stay with Bayern Munich. Lewandowski dismissed the rumors, stating that his wife’s preferences had nothing to do with the decision. Interestingly, she later endorsed his move to Barcelona in 2022.
5. Sergio Ramos to Man Utd
Sergio Ramos was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United before eventually signing for PSG in 2021. While the allure of a mega salary may have been a significant factor, it is believed that Ramos’ wife, Pilar Rubio, played a role in convincing him that Paris would offer a better life for their family. The French capital seemed more appealing to Rubio and their four sons than Manchester.
6. Zinedine Zidane to Man Utd
Even managers are not immune to the influence of their wives. Zinedine Zidane was reportedly a candidate for the Manchester United managerial position last season. However, his dancer wife, Veronique, reportedly stood in the way of a move. The Daily Record reported that Veronique wasn’t keen on living in Manchester and preferred her husband to take a longer break from coaching.
In conclusion, Wags have been known to play a significant role in footballers’ transfer decisions. Whether it’s due to personal preferences, career aspirations, or family considerations, these partners have the power to scupper potential moves. While some players may prioritize their own ambitions, others are willing to listen to their loved ones and make decisions that are best for their families. Ultimately, the influence of Wags in the world of football cannot be underestimated.