Diego Maradona to Sheffield United and Eric Cantona to Sheffield Wednesday - two bizarre deals named in top 10 football transfers that never quite happened

Both Diego Maradona and Eric Cantona could have graced the Steel City footballing stage.
Both Diego Maradona and Eric Cantona could have graced the Steel City footballing stage.
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World Cup winner Diego Maradona turning out in the red and white stripes for Sheffield United at Bramall Lane?

Or perhaps fiery Frenchman Eric Cantona turning on his collar-up Gallic flair at Hillsborough for Sheffield Wednesday?

Alex Sabella was Maradona's replacement at Bramall Lane.

Alex Sabella was Maradona's replacement at Bramall Lane.

It might sound unlikely, but both were potential football transfers that never quite happened - and both have been named in a top ten of the most unlikely deals ever which never came off.

The pair both feature in a rundown by the Daily Mail, looking back on some of the weird and wonderful football dealings which didn't materialise - even though they might have looked set in stone.

Here's the stories of how things could have been very different for both the Blades and the Owls...

DIEGO MARADONA TO SHEFFIELD UNITED

Cantona pictured playing for Wednesday in 1991.

Cantona pictured playing for Wednesday in 1991.

Back in the late 70s, the then Bramall Lane boss Harry Haslam was ahead of the game in looking for players to bolster his team, casting his sights abroad in the search for talent.

It was while on a scouting mission in Argentina that Haslam eyed a talented 17-year-old by the name of Diego Maradona in 1978.

He was so impressed by the short, dark-haired lad's silky skills that he negotiated a £200,000 deal there and then.

But when Argentinos Juniors demanded more money, the Blades board refused to sanction it and bought Maradona's compatriot Alejandro Sabella, better know as Alex, instead.

Maradona's greatest moment came when he lifted the World Cup in 1986.

Maradona's greatest moment came when he lifted the World Cup in 1986.

Sabella spent a couple of years in South Yorkshire and proved popular with United fans while Maradona of course went on to fame and infamy, his Hand Of God goal against England in 1986, followed by his stunning solo effort in the same game before eventually lifting the World Cup with Argentina that year catapulting him to legend status and making him one of the world's greatest ever players.

ERIC CANTONA TO SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

Love him or loathe him, Eric Cantona divided the world of football during his playing days - but rather than the glittering career he enjoyed with Manchester United, the Frenchman could have been a Hillsborough favourite.

Back in 1991, Nimes were desperate to get rid of the hot-headed Cantona after he threw a ball at a referee.

Sheffield United boss Harry Haslam tried to sign Diego Maradona.

Sheffield United boss Harry Haslam tried to sign Diego Maradona.

His response to getting a one-month ban for the act? He walked up to each member of the French FA's disciplinary panel and called them an idiot.

Cantona was threatening to retire from the game, but the chance to move to England changed his mind and Sheffield Wednesday were the first to offer Cantona a trial.

After a week of training indoors due to bad weather, boss Trevor Francis asked the striker to stay on another week and train on grass.

Cantona wasn't keen and was signed by Leeds United, whom he helped to the First Division title before joining Manchester United to win several more trophies - and of course, deliver that kung fu kick and his infamous speech about seagulls and trawlers that turned him into a cult footballing icon.