SunSport looks through the Premier League archives to pick out our top 10 most shocking transfers from these shores.
10. RIO FERDINAND
Leeds to Manchester United — 2002
FERDINAND is still hated at Elland Road after crossing the Pennines to join Leeds’ bitter rivals.
The centre-half was an integral part of the Whites’ side that reached the semi-final of the Champions League.
He had quickly established himself as one of the world’s top defenders and also shone for England at the 2002 World Cup.
Manchester United came knocking and a cash-hit Leeds were in no place to turn down the mega-bucks bid.
Ferdinand eventually went to Old Trafford for £30million – a fee which made him the most expensive British footballer in history at the time and the world’s most expensive defender for a second time.
The ex-Three Lions captain has recently signed a new one-year deal to stay at United and has been handed a testimonial after 11 years’ service.
9. ASHLEY COLE
Arsenal to Chelsea — 2006
NOT so much shocking as controversial, this was one of the most bitter transfer sagas of all time.
Cole had been an Arsenal youth product who went on to become an England regular.
But his relationship with his boyhood club soured when cash-rich Chelsea first came in for him in 2005.
Arsenal accused the Blues of ‘tapping up’ the left-back and launched a legal battle which saw Cole, Stamford Bridge boss Jose Mourinho and the club all fined.
The damage was done however, and Cole’s bridges with the Gunners were well and truly burnt.
He made matters worse after he revealed in his autobiography that he “nearly swerved off the road” when Arsenal ‘only’ offered him a contract worth £55,000-a-week.
Cole eventually moved to Chelsea on the final day of the 2006 summer transfer window for a fee of £5million, with William Gallas moving the other way.
And he remains with the Blues having won a Premier League title and the Champions League.
8. ROBIN VAN PERSIE
Arsenal to Manchester United — 2012
ARSENAL fans’ worst nightmare came true last summer when RVP moved to Old Trafford.
The Dutchman had been with the Gunners since 2004 but really came into his own in 2011-12, scoring 30 Premier League goals.
However, Van Persie announced he was not going to sign a new contract with Arsenal in July.
And that sparked a bidding war between the two Manchester sides.
Van Persie eventually agreed to switch to United in a £22million deal.
And Arsenal supporters could only watch on in despair as their Premier League rivals went on to win the title, with their new signing topping the goal charts for the second season in a row.
7. CARLOS TEVEZ
Manchester United to Manchester City — 2008
TEVEZ won the Premier League and Champions League with United but he still decided to jump ship to the blue half of Manchester.
The Argentine striker was on a two-year loan at Old Trafford but rejected the chance to sign a five-year deal which would have made him one of the club’s top earners.
Instead, Tevez plumped for a move to big-spending City — the first player to make the switch since Terry Cooke went the same way 10 years earlier.
United fans were then further riled when their neighbours erected a blue ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard with an image of their new signing in the background.
Tevez went on to play an integral part in City’s FA Cup and Premier League triumphs, though did have a huge fall-out with boss Roberto Mancini after refusing to come off the bench during a Champions League game.
6. FERNANDO TORRES
Liverpool to Chelsea — 2011
THE Spaniard was a firm favourite on Anfield where he plundered 65 goals in just 102 games.
But things began to turn sour in January of his fourth campaign with the Reds and he requested a move when rivals Chelsea came calling.
Boss Kenny Dalglish immediately rejected his wishes but could do not turn down the mega £50million offer that came in from the Blues on an eventful January deadline day.
It made him the sixth most expensive footballer at the time.
But much to the delight of Reds fans — and the despair of Chelsea supporters — he did not register a goal until April.
Similar misery was to follow in his first full campaign at Stamford Bridge before he picked up in 2012-13, scoring 21 goals.
Real Madrid to Manchester City — 2008
AS statement’s from new owners go, this was right up there.
On the day the Abu Dhabi United Group completed their takeover of City, they promptly splashed out another £32.5million to bring Robinho from Real Madrid to the Etihad.
The deadline-day signing well and truly came out of the blue — not least to the Brazilian who thought he was signing for another Premier League club.
Robinho famously said: “On the last day, Chelsea made a great proposal and I accepted.”
But once the Samba star found out where he had actually joined, he immediately settled and bagged 12 goals before the turn of the year.
That, though, was to be as good as it got for Robinho in Manchester.
He spent the second half of his second campaign on loan back home at Santos before signing for AC Milan in the summer.
4. ERIC CANTONA
Leeds to Manchester United — 1992
KING ERIC may not have been prolific, but he played an instrumental role in helping Leeds win the First Division in 1992.
The Frenchman also bagged a hat-trick in the following Charity Shield win over Liverpool as the Whites went into the new Premier League era with confidence sky-high.
So when Cantona left for rivals Manchester United just three months later, devastated Leeds fans quite understandably greeted the transfer with horror.
The move only came about after Leeds chairman Bill Fotherby phoned Red Devils counterpart Martin Edwards enquiring about the possibility of signing Dennis Irwin.
United turned down the approach for their left-back and bid for Cantona instead.
Within a few days the deal was complete — and the move signalled the reversal of both team’s fortunes.
Alex Ferguson must have thought all his Christmases had come at once as his £1.2million snaffle went on to help United win the first-ever Premier League and three more titles in his five-year stay.
3. ANDY CARROLL
Newcastle to Liverpool — 2011
NO sooner had Liverpool agreed a £50million fee to sell Fernando Torres to Chelsea, they went and splashed £35million of it on giant Geordie Carroll.
The Newcastle hitman was no doubt a promising prospect having starred for Toon on their return to the Premier League.
But the cash dished out for a 22-year-old still learning his trade was eye-watering — and it made him the most expensive British footballer of all time.
The Torres-Carroll double deal was a real deadline-day jaw dropper which few predicted.
And as it was, both strikers struggled at their new clubs.
Carroll had to wait until March to make his debut because of injury and bagged his first Reds goal in April.
He was in and out of the side the following season, but when Kenny Dalglish was sacked and Brendan Rodgers appointed, he was immediately sent on a season-long loan to West Ham.
2. CARLOS TEVEZ & JAVIER MASCHERANO
Corinthians to West Ham — 2006
THIS was the moment two Argentinian superstars turned up at West Ham on a dramatic deadline day in the summer of 2006.
Tevez and Mascherano had been starring in the World Cup just two months previously so their arrival was quite rightly treated with suspicion.
It was later revealed that the duo were partially owned by agent Kia Jooarabchian’s Media Sport’s Investment.
For football fans in England, this was the introduction of third-party ownership which is common in South American and elsewhere around the world.
But it ultimately broke Premier League rules and West Ham were fined a record £5.5million — though not deducted points.
Much to the delight of the Premier League, the Argies failed to get going and West Ham were sucked into a relegation battle.
But Tevez finally scored his first goal in March and went on to hit seven in his last 10 games, including a final-day winner at Manchester United, to secure the Hammers’ safety.
Relegated Sheffield United were furious and eventually won a hefty compensation pay-out — though it was no consolation to going down.
1. SOL CAMPBELL
Tottenham to Arsenal — 2001
THE England centre-half was regarded as a club legend at White Hart Lane after making over 250 appearances in a nine-year stay.
That was until he dared to cross the North London divide and move to bitter rivals Arsenal.
Spurs were willing to smash their pay structure to keep hold of Campbell — one of the world’s leading defenders at the time but whose contract was set to expire.
And the former Three Lions skipper publicly assured Tottenham he would stay and sign a new deal.
But Campbell did a dramatic U-turn, stating his need to play Champions League football.
And though he was courted across the globe, he chose to move to Arsenal on a free — a club he told Spurs Monthly magazine he would never play for.
Campbell was forever labelled ‘Judas’ by Tottenham fans, though did go on to win two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with his new side.