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Football transfer news: How announcements got extravagant

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Has the football transfer announcement got out of hand?

With clubs becoming more and more desperate to make an impact on social media, gone are the days where a player forced a smile, held up a shirt and shook the manager's hand.

Now, we're getting elaborate videos - akin to film trailers - before the signing is finally revealed.

Take Aston Villa's recent loan signing of goalkeeper Andre Moreira, for example.

Coming a couple of days after the final of Love Island, the club couldn't resist a pun (and who are we to judge?) about a player "entering the Villa".

Villa have form in the elaborate signing announcement too - remember when they announced John Terry's signing on WhatsApp last year?

It wasn't always like this

Let's go back to 30 July 1996.

Football had "come home" to England with the European Championships being hosted in the country, before the national side were knocked out in a penalty shootout - obviously.

But the tournament's top scorer Alan Shearer was still hot property, and had just sealed a £15m transfer from Blackburn to Newcastle.

It was the most expensive signing in the world at the time - so the Newcastle media team were surely working hard to come up with ideas on how to announce it.

Their idea? Have Alan do a few keepy-uppies in front of a giant bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale - the team's shirt sponsor at the time.

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image captionAlan Shearer's £15m move from Blackburn to Newcastle was the most expensive football transfer in the world in 1996

A bold white suit

Jump forward to 2002 when the Premier League was 10 years old.

Manchester United made Rio Ferdinand the most expensive English footballer ever and world's most expensive defender.

He turned up to his signing announcement in an ostentatious pinstriped white suit, which we guess looked cool in the early noughties.

Rio went for the usual "player holds up shirt for cameras" shot.

But for some reason he had a long-sleeve football shirt and held it up at a weird angle - all making for a slightly bizarre photoshoot.

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Whatever you do, say the right club

In the decade that Manchester City have been owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, they've won the Premier League title three times.

But it didn't start out so well.

In 2008, the new owners broke the English transfer record with the £32.5m singing of Brazilian striker Robinho from Real Madrid.

His time at the club turned out to be pretty disappointing, and the omens seemed to be there from the start.

Firstly, he told reporters: "Chelsea made a great proposal and I accepted" - at his Man City unveiling.

Plus, the photo released by Manchester City genuinely looks like it was taken on a slightly shaky mid-2000s camera phone.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMark Hughes doesn't look thrilled with the signing - maybe he knew what was to come

An 'accidental' announcement

This one may not have been the first elaborate transfer signing, but it did seem to kick off the latest trend.

There had been months of rumours that Paul Pogba was going to rejoin Manchester United from Juventus in a world-record deal.

But the club was pipped to the announcement - when Pogba's mate Stormzy "accidentally" posted a video on Facebook.

Produced by sponsors Adidas, it showed the pair dancing and dabbing, with Stormzy in a Man Utd shirt with Pogba on the back.

The video was quickly removed - but not before it had done the rounds online.

And it only took a few hours for Manchester United to officially announce what everyone already knew.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionStormzy 1, Manchester United 0: The grime artist beat the Red Devils to their own announcement about Paul Pogba

How times have changed

Since that Pogba episode, transfer announcements have only got more extravagant.

We've had signing videos based on Tinder, Fifa and the Pope.

Then came Alexis Sanchez's piano recital for Manchester United in January.

His move from Arsenal did take a long time. Perhaps the Chilean needed extra time to learn Glory, Glory Man United on the piano?

By contrast, when he joined Arsenal from Barcelona in July 2014, all we got was a photo of the attacker and a few stats about his international career.

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