SANCHEZ/MKHITARYAN: 5 High-Profile Player Swaps Between Big European Clubs

SANCHEZ/MKHITARYAN: 5 High-Profile Player Swaps Between Big European Clubs

After Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United with Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining Arsenal in a swap deal,’s JAMES AGBEREBI recalls FIVE memorable swap deals involving big clubs…


ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC / SAMUEL ETO’O (Inter Milan and Barcelona)

In 2009, Zlatan Ibrahimovic left Inter Milan for Barcelona, with Cameroonian star Samuel Eto’o going the other way—along with around £35 million.

But it turned out to be a nightmare move for Ibrahimovic, while Eto’o had a memorable period with the Serie A giants.

While Eto’o won the treble with Inter (Serie A, Coppa Italia, UEFA Champions League), Ibrahimovic won the LaLiga, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup but however left on loan to AC Milan after just one season at Barcelona.

ROBERTO CARLOS / IVAN ZAMORANO (Inter Milan and Real Madrid)

Legendary Chilean forward Ivan Zamorano was one of the most prolific strikers in Europe in 1995, having scored 28 goals in 38 games to help Real Madrid win the Liga title.

But he found himself sidelined by the emergence of Raul, and left for Roy Hodgson’s Inter MIlan in exchange for left-back Roberto Carlos in 1996.

The Brazilian would establish himself as one of the best left-backs in the world, winning four LaLiga titles, three UEFA Champions Leagues, three Spanish Super Cups and one UEFA

Super Cup, while Zamorano won the UEFA Cup at Inter.

ASHLEY COLE / WILLIAM GALLAS (Arsenal and Chelsea)

Ashley Cole moved to Chelsea from rivals Arsenal in 2006 with William Gallas moving the other way, along with a fee of £5million.

Cole, a member of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’, added another league title with the Blues as well as four FA Cups and the Champions League in 2012 in a successful eight-year spell.

Gallas, who was a two-time Premier League winner and also League Cup winner during his time at Chelsea, won nothing with the Gunners and moved to Tottenham on a free in 2010.


Inter Milan allowed Clarence Seedorf to join their city rivals AC Milan in a trade for defender Francesco Coco, who had once been labelled the next Paolo Maldini.

Milan were the happier from the swap deal as Seedorf won two more Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles.

On his part, Coco never hit it big with Inter due to off-field distractions which saw him eventually retire aged 30.

ANDY COLE / KEITH GILLESPIE (Newcastle and Manchester United)

A shock move in 1995 saw Newcastle swap their star striker Andy Cole for £6million plus Manchester United winger Keith Gillespie.

Cole who scored 121 goals in 275 games, went on to win five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League including the treble in 1999.

Gillespie was also a success at Newcastle, becoming a key figure in Kevin Keegan’s entertaining side which twice finished runners-up to United.