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Chelsea almost gazumped a second Manchester United transfer deal this summer

Ed Woodward: "Gazump me once, shame on...shame on you. Gazump us — you can't get gazumped again!"

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Willian wasn't the first gazumping in Chelsea, or organized association football history for that matter, but by getting commemorated in song, he's become the poster child for this lovable transfer window strategy.  And while another recent gazumpee, Mohamed Salah didn't quite work out despite the added bonus of stealing him from right under Liverpool's noses, Pedro is off to a good start, much to Manchester United's chagrin.  And, it turns out, we almost did it twice in one window to Edward Woodward and Co, at least according to Duncan Castles in the Sunday Times.

This second player in the question is of course Anthony Martial, who, at 19 years old, has become the second most expensive youngster in football's history by commanding a £36 million transfer fee, due to being the best young goalscorer in Ligue 1 last season for his former club Monaco and being likened to Thierry Henry.  That fee could actually rise (via "easy performance-related clauses") to be even higher than the £44m PSG paid for Lucas Moura.

According to the Times' report, Chelsea were ready to match Manchester United's bid but they were too late as the deal had been already closed.  While some are painting this as another failure in Chelsea's summer transfer strategy, there are plenty of questions being asked of United for paying such an outrageous sum, too.  There's even this rather hilarious report that raises the (likely?) possibility that agent Jorge Mendes fleeced Woodward and Co to the tune of several million by pretending that there were other bidders interested in Martial.

Still, even though Anthony Martial is hardly what's needed to fix the squad at the moment, it might have been fun to gazump Manchester United twice in one window...

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