5 Players Who Broke Down in Tears When They Were Sold, Including Newcastle Bound Tonali

5 Players Who Broke Down in Tears When They Were Sold, Including Newcastle Bound Tonali

Isaac Darko
updated at June 29, 2023 at 7:49 AM
In this article:
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  • Sandro Tonali is not the first player to respond negatively to a transfer
  • The Italian is reportedly not happy with being sold to Newcastle United
  • Sports Brief looks at five others who could not handle transfer pressure

It wouldn't exactly be music to Newcastle fans' ears to hear that their soon-to-be joint record signing 'broke down in tears' after learning where he'd be playing next season.

Well, one could hardly blame poor Sandro Tonali.

The 23-year-old was understandably upset upon learning that Newcastle's €70 million bid for him had been accepted and that he would have to consent to the transfer because the club needed the money.

Sandro Tonali, AC Milan, Newcastle
Sports Brief runs through five players who couldn't handle transfer pressure, including Newcastle-bound Sandro Tonali. Credit: @dailystar
Source: Twitter

Apparently, the Italian wanted to stay at AC Milan for the rest of his life.

The fact that the midfielder would prefer not to be a part of one of the most exciting projects in European football, even though his wages are reportedly doubling, doesn't augur well for his early Toon career.

However, the Italian footballer is not the first to have a negative response to a transfer.

Sports Brief runs through five others:


Robinho clearly did not want to join Manchester City in 2008; he also was not even aware of their existence!

After being linked to Chelsea, who were in negotiations to sign him and already selling his merchandise on their website prior to the transfer being finalised, Real Madrid had to compel the Brazilian to move to the Etihad Stadium.

Robinho joined Man City on deadline day, hours after their acquisition by the Abu Dhabi United Group was finalised. However, he only played for Sky Blues for 18 months before being loaned out and eventually sold.

Lionel Messi

When the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner was forced to leave Barcelona in 2021, he sobbed like a baby. Even after agreeing to a massive pay cut, the club had to get him off their books due to their precarious financial situation.

The Argentina captain almost certainly would have finished his career at Camp Nou, but due to the club's financial mismanagement, his time there ended in tears and - worse still - with no fanfare at all.

Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas' removal from Real Madrid's starting lineup by Jose Mourinho in 2012 came as a surprise, especially considering the Spaniard had played a key role in the team for 13 years.

Despite his best efforts to avoid it, the player followed the coach out the door two years after he did in 2013. Later, the goalkeeper's parents alleged that club president, Florentino Perez forced their son out.

They told Spanish publication, El Mundo, per Bleacher Report, that the Real Madrid chief had 'orchestrated the campaign to tarnish Iker for many years' following his move to Porto in 2015.

Angel Di Maria

Is it the case that footballers don't seem to like the idea of switching Madrid for Manchester? Casemiro shrugged off that notion last season but the £60mil transfer of Angel Di Maria to United in 2014 was a complete and total failure.

First, the Argentine acknowledged in his farewell message that he didn't want to leave the Santiago Bernabeu outfit; second, his Cheshire home was broken into; and third, his form rapidly declined.

Di Maria wrote a letter to Real Madrid fans, via Sportskeeda, explaining that while he had to leave the Spanish giants for the Red Devils, he stated it was never his wish to depart.

Andy Carroll

When Liverpool contacted Andy Carroll in January 2011, the Reds had only played half a season in the Premier League and were in desperate need of a replacement for Fernando Torres, who was headed to Chelsea.

The striker, who was born in Newcastle, was content with his boyhood club, but the Magpies were powerless to turn down a £35 million offer from the Merseysiders.

"The owner made it clear to me that I was not wanted at the club," Carroll later revealed, via Daily Star. "I didn’t want to leave, they asked me to hand in a transfer request."
Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)