From an "angry and confused" Wayne Rooney, to Gareth Bale's yawn-inducing move to Real Madrid, to just about everything Luis Suarez said and did, there were a lot of annoying transfer sagas over the summer.
Now, thankfully, the window is shut.
No more Twitter hysteria, unfounded rumours and unfortunate Sky Sports journalists posted up outside dark, empty stadiums, reminiscent of a scene out of The Living Dead.
Not until January, anyway.
But what were the most irritating stories from the last few months? There are so many to choose from but we have whittled it down to just 20.
Assembled in no particular order, read on to see the most annoying summer transfer sagas of 2013/14.
Who is missing from the list? Is there an pesky transfer you'd like to add? Let us know who you choose and why the transfer was so annoying in the comments section below.
This year's saga was one born out of Gareth Bale's summerlong links with Real Madrid. Surely Los Blancos couldn't have two left-sided midfield stars who excel at shooting from distance and love to take set-pieces?
Turns out, yes they can.
However, all summer long, Ronaldo was rumoured to be moving back to Old Trafford. His apparent refusal to sign a new contract extension at the Bernabeu did little to dispel the gossip.
United fans held their breath, anxious for CR7's return. Twitter rumours said he'd been "spotted" in Manchester and speculation was rife when United's No. 7 shirt was left vacant by Antonio Valencia. But, ultimately, it all amounted to nothing.
In early August, reports coming out of Spain suggested that Ronaldo had put pen to paper on a new long-term deal that would keep him at the club until 2018, as seen in the Independent.
However, nothing will make these rumours disappear. Expect Ronaldo gossip to rear its head in every transfer window for the next decade. Quite annoying, wouldn't you agree?
Already, as the Guardian has reported, he could be on his way to Manchester next summer...
Adem Ljajic is no newcomer to transfer gossip.
In 2010 he looked set to join Manchester United, before the club pulled out of a deal that had already been agreed in principle.
I'm really sick of this whole situation. I don't have the time, the will or the patience to wait—in part because the lad is not relaxed about this.
The Serbian's refusal to sign a new contract provoked the ire of Fiorentina fans and the club, which told ESPNFC: "Let it be clear - if he doesn't accept our offer, then he goes onto the transfer market."
After turning down a bid from AC Milan, Fiorentina sold Ljajic to AS Roma.
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is irksome to just about everyone, apart from Reds fans it seems, and he had the starring role in one of the longest, most aggravating transfer sagas in recent memory.
After going on a one-man mission to destroy his public image after a race row with Patrice Evra and an infamous bite of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, Suarez fueled further controversy when he said that he wanted to leave England to escape the British media.
Suarez batted his eyelashes at Real Madrid but when no offer was forthcoming, the 26-year-old then said he wanted to go to Arsenal to play Champions League football. Arsenal, if you didn't know, are based in London—the media capital of the U.K. Ahem.
The Uruguayan believed he had a release clause in his contract which, if a bid came in in excess of £40 million, Liverpool would have to let the striker go.
Down at the Emirates, there was either some very lateral thinking going on or an attempt at humor when the club lodged a bid for £40,000,001. The bid served only to make Liverpool furious and they rejected the Gunners' advances.
As the summer dragged on, Suarez claimed in the Guardian that Liverpool should "honour" their promise to let him leave.
The window closed and Suarez went nowhere. Suddenly, he appeared to backpedal furiously, insisting that he decided "weeks ago" that he's happy to stay at Anfield, as reported in the Express.
Hmmm, Luis, why is it so hard to believe you...?
It feels like this particular saga has been running for years and, in a way, it has.
Wayne Rooney lodged his first transfer request at Manchester United in 2010, with the striker declaring that Sir Alex Ferguson's side no longer matched his ambitions.
Two days later, Rooney had a change of heart—helped, no doubt, by the offer of £250,000-a-week in wages—and inked a new deal.
At the tail end of last season, Rooney started to fall foul of Ferguson once more. The striker was left out of the side's starting XI in a key Champions League tie against Real Madrid and had no role to play in the manager's plans for the final home game of the 2012/13 season.
It looked like Rooney would be leaving Old Trafford over the summer, with Chelsea being the most likely destination.
The Red Devils rejected two bids from Jose Mourinho's side and it looked like Rooney may have ended up switching to Chelsea after the two teams met on August 26.
Rumours of the striker forcing United's hand with an official transfer request abounded until he admitted that he, in the words of the Guardian's Jamie Jackson, "had conceded defeat to the club."
Chelsea turned their attentions to Samuel Eto'o, and Rooney remained at United. Expect this saga to reappear at some point in the not-too-distant future.
It seemed that the Everton pair would come to Manchester United as a package deal as David Moyes looked set to raid his old club.
When the Old Trafford side made a £28 million bid to sign the duo, Everton branded the approach as "derisory and insulting" (via ESPN).
This followed an earlier bid that United had made for Leighton Baines that had been knocked back in June.
Talk persisted, with new Toffees boss Roberto Martinez forced into what seemed like a never-ending denial that the players would not leave.
After much wrangling, Fellaini became a United player on transfer deadline day—joining the club for a reported £27.5 million, just half a million less than the club had wanted to spend on two players.
Baines is still at Goodison Park, but I imagine this saga will be ongoing as Moyes tries to get the left-back to move to United.
It looked like Bafetimbi Gomis would become a Newcastle United player over the summer.
The 28-year-old has a good record with Lyon, where he has scored 72 goals in 194 appearances.
Yet the French side seem to be anxious to offload him. This transfer saga is annoying because of the club's stance, rather than that of a wantaway player.
As B/R guest columnist Andy Brassell wrote last month: "Gomis has endured a miserable summer of his club trying to push him out as they continue to make big cuts to a substantial wage bill. With just a year left on his contract, Lyon have become quite aggressive in their attempts to sell him."
Described by the Mirror's Ed Malyon as a "notorious motormouth," Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has been very public about a potential Gomis exit, taking to Twitter to say:
We have to face facts, there isn't an offer that Bafe has accepted despite (interest from) the 'English' and the 'Turks' and Lyon need a player like him.
A proposed move to St James' Park collapsed in early August, as reported in the Express, and Gomis was given faint praise from Lyon manager Remi Garde: "I have no more problems with Bafe than I have with any of the others. I will adapt (if he stays)."
Hardly a ringing endorsement.
Yohan Cabaye was linked to a number of Premier League clubs over the summer.
Rumours suggested that Manchester United were tracking the midfielder, but Arsenal seemed like the most likely destination after they tabled a bid for £10 million in early August.
Branding it "derisory," the Magpies turned down the offer (via the Independent).
Cabaye travelled with the Newcastle squad to take on Manchester City, but returned home after it was reported by ESPN that he was not "in the right frame of mind" to play—Arsenal's offer having been made on the eve of the game.
And this is where it starts to get annoying—the Frenchman then refused to play for Newcastle in the side's 0-0 home draw against West Ham.
Cabaye's only time on the field so far has been for the last 25 minutes of Newcastle's 1-0 win against Fulham.
No second offer materialized for Cabaye, with Arsenal seemingly focusing all their efforts on bringing Mesut Ozil to North London.
Oh Gareth Bale, where do we start? Is it his heart celebration that's so annoying or the transfer saga of epic proportions that dragged on all summer?
The Welshman had an incredible season with Tottenham Hotspur in 2012/13. Voted PFA Player of the Year and scorer of 31 goals for club and country, he was consistently so good that any team in the world would have loved to sign him up.
The problem is, there were only one or two clubs with the riches necessary to buy him.
Real Madrid's public pursuit of Bale ran for months. The Spanish side lodged an £86.3 million bid for the 24-year-old in July, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy turned down the offer. Playing hardball, stories suggested the club would hold out for £105 million.
As the summer progressed Bale stopped turning up for training and suffered an apparent (if convenient) injury that kept him out of preseason friendlies. His picture was removed from the club's official Twitter page, and Andre Villas-Boas went about adding a raft of impressive new signings to the side.
Stories like this on the BBC Sport website suggested that the Welshman would be fined for failing to report to training.
The Premier League season started and Bale was nowhere to be seen.
Reports suggested that Bale was "fuming" at the way the transfer was being handled by Spurs and it looked like the player may force the club's hand, by bringing the matter to court, as seen in the Guardian.
To add an extra layer of intrigue, Manchester United were credited with interest in signing Bale, as reported by the BBC.
Finally, when everyone was sick of hearing about it, Spurs and Madrid came to an agreement, wrapping up a deal for £85 million and making Bale the world's most expensive footballer. Thankfully, after months of negotiations, speculation and a petulant disappearing act by the player, it was over.
Christian Eriksen raised the hopes of many clubs across Europe this summer.
With one year remaining on his contract at Ajax, it was inevitable that a slew of sides, including Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur would be interested in the 21-year-old midfielder.
The Mirror reported as early as last November that Manchester United and Manchester City had been put on "alert" as the Dane had refused to extend his contract.
"I will leave at some time but when it happens I don't know," he said, being vague enough to ensure he'd be a rumour mill staple over the summer.
Speculation linking him with a Liverpool move gathered pace at such speed that Ajax were moved to release a formal statement, denying reports that an agreement had been reached.
Dortmund are a club where I would like to play. I think I would be a good fit with the football there. Dortmund play nice, attacking football.
In July, it looked like a move to Liverpool or Roma was likely, with Ajax coach Frank de Boer quoted on Skysports.com, saying: "If he feels good going to Liverpool, then it is up to him."
Eriksen was quoted on the BBC Sport website, saying: "Everyone has followed the development of Spurs and it's something I want to be part of."
Willian's transfer to Chelsea was a real saga. Mostly for the player himself and for fans of Liverpool Football Club.
However, just seven months later he's in a very different league.
Liverpool were the first club to state serious interest in the player, after Anzhi made public their desire to offload players in a bid to cut costs.
Manchester United were also rumoured to be fans of the 25-year-old.
In an interview with ESPN Brasil (via ESPNfc.com), Willian appeared to confirm that Liverpool were favourites to sign him. He said:
I'm waiting for a new bid to arrive in the next days from a few clubs, like Liverpool. If it's really Liverpool, then it is surely a great club. I'm hopeful and very calm, just waiting for the best.
Despite Liverpool's plans to tempt Willian to Anfield, Tottenham Hotspur entered the picture, going so far as to have Willian undergo a medical at the club.
Just when it looked like Spurs might sign the Brazilian, Chelsea arrive on the scene, snatching Willian from under Tottenham's nose and signing him for £31 million.
Any time a club chairman takes to Twitter to rant about a transfer, you know a saga has unfolded.
May had a good season in Scotland, scoring 19 goals for Alloa and 27 goals for Hamilton Accies during loan spells at the two clubs.
His performances got him a call-up for the Scotland Under-21 side and sparked interest from Peterborough, who made repeated bids for the 20-year-old.
However, St Johnstone were not keen on receiving payment for his services in installments and denied the move.
Cue fury from Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony, who said on Twitter:
Enough already as it’s getting silly. So some facts:
As revealed by him, yes we put bids in for said player. They rejected them, sent us their terms, we met all terms bar how they want money paid.
They want it all in this budget year. We never do our business that way as we have told them & have % rules etc to work within.
Posh will not be changing final offer made last week & no amount of press articles will make a difference.
And as for the ‘No disrespect, he might get a bigger club looking at him’ comment, I hope that works out for them & their club.
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright countered with this, as reported by Skysports.com:
We tend to do our talking through proper media channels. We don't need to be going into social media, I don't think that's the right way to do it.
Some of the things he says could be quite easily contradicted but he can rant and say all he wants, Stevie May won't be going to Peterborough.
But I have a football club to run and he's got a Twitter account to run so we'll just leave it at that.
Needless to say, May is still at St Johnstone.
Former Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo looked like he was a nailed-on certainty to join Arsenal over the summer.
Chelsea and Wolfsburg had also been credited with interest in the 26-year-old, with the Guardian reporting that Gustavo was "close" to making a move to the Emirates.
The Brazilian was even quoted in the Guardian a day later, saying:
My contract with Bayern runs until 2015 but it is very important that I play first-team football to keep getting called up for Brazil. I am in a very delicate situation at Bayern and this needs sorting out. I have personal and professional reasons to move.
I have heard about the Arsenal interest. It's a big club we're talking about here so of course I'd like to play for them.
Arsenal play a very attractive brand of football and are in the Champions League. They also have a very clever manager in Arsène Wenger. Even when Bayern beat them in the last Champions League [on aggregate] you could see they are not pushovers.
It's easy to see why Arsenal fans may have felt a little aggrieved at Gustavo's U-turn, when he said on ESPNfc.com: "Wolfsburg are a top club. I like Germany. The security the country gives me. I have considered everything. I knew about everything. My heart decided on Wolfsburg."
Cesc Fabregas was pursued by Manchester United for much of the summer. As much as you tried to ignore them, the rumours just wouldn't go away.
On paper, it looked like a great idea—Fabregas has a wealth of Premier League experience, United desperately needed (and still need) reinforcements in the center of the park, and we all know how difficult it is to get a solid run of games in the Barcelona midfield.
One problem, however, and a big one at that—Fabregas has stated time and again that he does not want to leave Camp Nou. Yet United still thought they could tempt him to Old Trafford.
The Red Devils' pursuit of the midfielder started to get a bit embarrassing. The club were in danger of looking desperate as they refused to take no for an answer.
After having two bids turned down, this saga became ridiculous when talk emerged that United were ready to lodge a third bid for the Spaniard.
Until they signed Mesut Ozil on transfer deadline day, it was a summer of missed opportunities and what-might-have-beens for Arsenal.
The Gunners certainly had their fair share of sagas. In addition to missing out on Luiz Gustavo, Lars Bender and Luis Suarez, Arsene Wenger's team also lost out on former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.
It looked like the Argentine was bound for North London—the club had made an early bid and had been granted access to hold talks with the player. The Telegraph reported that Higuain was close to confirming a £22 million move.
To add insult to injury, Higuain made his Napoli debut against Arsenal in the Emirates Cup.
The Italian club were then drawn in Group F, the same as Arsenal for this season's Champions League. Salt in the wound for Gunners fans and very, very annoying.
In early June, Barcelona starlet Thiago Alcantara revealed that he wanted to leave Camp Nou.
As seen in this report in the Express, the 22-year-old was desperate for first-team football and Manchester United were considered to be front-runners in the bid to secure his services.
When your World Cup-winning father Mazinho is reported to be agreeing terms for you at Old Trafford, it seems like the deal is on, right?
Despite many media outlets reporting that the Alcantara move was as good as done, United did not get their man.
Instead, the Spaniard put pen to paper with Bayern Munich, where he linked up with former Barca boss Pep Guardiola.
This heralded the start of an incredibly frustrating transfer period for fans of the Manchester club.
You know it's a saga of epic proportions when a summer transfer saga pertains to an entire club and not just one player.
In a story that has reached farcical proportions in recent months, Newcastle United's failure to land any big names began when they hired a new director of football, Joe Kinnear.
Not known for his tact or clever handling of the media, this was an appointment that would have seemed strange even 15 years ago.
Upon arriving at the club Kinnear insisted that he be judged on his signings. As seen in the Mirror, he said:
Judge me on my signings.
I can open the door to any football manager in the world, anyone. That's the difference. I spend my whole life, picking up the phone, talking to Alex Ferguson, week in, week out. Pick the phone up at any time of day and speak to Arsene Wenger. I can pick the phone up and speak to any manager in the league, any manager in all divisions.
All summer long Magpies fans waited for new signings, waited and waited some more.
Yet no one arrived.
Newcastle are the only club in the top flight to fail to welcome any permanent senior arrivals over the summer. Only Loic Remy came to St James' Park on a season-long loan.
Kinnear has been judged already and Toon Army fans are furious. Expect this saga to run for a while...
If you looked up "transfer saga" in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Robert Lewandowski staring right back at you.
The Pole, who impressed so much for Borussia Dortmund last season, looked like he was on the brink of signing for Bayern Munich.
The treble-winning German powerhouse wanted him, he wanted them, and Lewandowski had a year remaining on his contract. It all looked so simple.
His agent Cezary Kucharski even told Sky Sports: "Robert will join Bayern this summer. There is no point in pretending that he will not move to Bayern. Robert wants to leave and that is what will happen."
However, Dortmund had other plans.
Feeling aggrieved that Mario Gotze had secured a move to the Allianz Arena, Jurgen Klopp's team were determined that they wouldn't lose two star performers to their fiercest rivals.
Even if it meant letting Lewandowski leave for free next summer, the club would not let him go.
This caused a number of Premier League clubs to sniff around, to see if Lewandowski was available but Dortmund stood firm.
Lewandowski will probably become a Bayern player this time next year but, for now, the saga is over.
Edinson Cavani had a stellar season in 2012/12—scoring 29 goals in 34 Serie A appearances for Napoli, turning heads with seven strikes in seven Europa League games and continuing his free-scoring into the summer, where he bagged three goals in four games in the Confederations Cup.
Leading up to the summer transfer window, everyone wanted the Uruguayan.
Premier League clubs looked like they were ready to do battle for his signature, with Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United repeatedly linked with the striker.
Cavani was also attracting admiring glances from Real Madrid. This rumour gathered steam when, as with all the best transfer stories, the player's dad took matters into his own hands, declaring to a radio station in Uruguay (via Goal.com): "I believe that today there is a 50 percent chance of Edinson signing for Real Madrid."
Berta, Cavani's mum, also weighed in with: "He has told me he wants to go elsewhere and to leave Napoli."
The Italian side were demanding a release clause of £53 million, which meant that only Europe's biggest hitters were in the frame.
On July 16 it was announced that Cavani had signed for Paris Saint-Germain, the only club to meet Napoli's valuation.
One person obviously annoyed by the saga was Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis, who branded the move as "ethically wrong":
If it wasn't for that clause, I wouldn't have sold him, not even for €70 million. It's a question of principle. You can’t just go around buying everything - it's ethically wrong. The problem is these clubs are sponsored by companies who flaunt absurd sums of money.
When Isco was playing with Spain's Under-21 squad in Israel over the summer, a transfer war was starting to break out.
The 21-year-old had enjoyed a successful season with Malaga under then-coach Manuel Pellegrini, with his three goals in eight Champions League games alerting a number of clubs across Europe to his ever-growing potential.
When Pellegrini was announced as new Manchester City manager, it seemed a given that he would raid his old club for talent.
The Guardian reported that Isco was keen to follow his "footballing father" to the Etihad.
But Real Madrid and their club legend Zinedine Zidane weren't going to give up on the Spaniard. It can't be easy to say no to Zizou and, according to Marca, it was he who convinced Isco to go to the Bernabeu.
When the midfielder was unveiled by Los Blancos in early July, he said:
Pellegrini was keen to take me to Manchester but once I knew Real Madrid were interested I didn't think twice.
I wonder what Isco's "footballing father" thought of that...?
This particular saga began way, way before the transfer window opened.
After ongoing speculation linking him to Chelsea, reports surfaced in March that claimed the Blues were prepared to launch a summer bid to sign Falcao.
In April, Manchester United were keen, according to the Express.
As the months went on, this became less a case of who wanted Falcao, but who didn't want him, as most top clubs in Europe were credited with interest in the striker.
With 28 goals scored in 34 La Liga games for Atletico Madrid the previous season, it was not hard to see why.
By the Mirror's reckoning, Manchester City were prepared to offer £54 million for the striker. Elsewhere, Metro claimed that Arsenal were preparing to shell out £80 million to bring him to the Emirates.
Falcao was starting to become ubiquitous on the back pages, and it looked like this could be a saga that would drag on all summer long.
However, there was still one twist left in the Falcao saga when the striker was alleged to have lied about his age to the newly promoted Ligue 1 side.