6 footballers who left their managers heartbroken – like Payet betraying Bilic

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Although professional footballers have often broken the hearts of fans by forcing transfers away – they have sometimes even betrayed managers who had trusted them to stay.

With some players refusing to play in order to get their wish, others have even committed to staying before agreeing a transfer to leave their team-mates in the lurch.

From Dimitri Payet to Fabian Delph – Daily Star Sport has taken a look at six footballers who left their managers devastated by succeeding in pushing for a move to pastures new.

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Dimitri Payet

Payet forced a move from West Ham back to Marseille back in the summer of 2017 despite taking the Premier League by storm thanks to the faith of Bilic.

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The France international scored 26 goals and laid on 33 assists across his 110 appearances in the top-flight – making his exit all the more painful for his manager.

Bilic said the following year: "I tried to persuade him [to stay] and spoke to him a few times but when it came to the point that it started to damage the dressing room and the players started asking what was going on, then I had to react."

Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie forced a move away from Arsenal by rejecting talks over a new contract – forcing Arsene Wenger to let him join Manchester United.

Wenger said after the £24million move: "He is at Manchester United, unfortunately for us. It's never great to lose players of that quality but he only had a year contract so we do not have a choice."

Although the Netherlands striker went on to win the Premier League title, Wenger had the last laugh by rejecting his attempt to rejoin Arsenal in 2015.

Carlos Tevez

Carlos Tevez left Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini seething after refusing to warm up during a Champions League clash against Bayern Munich.

Mancini said: "If we want to improve like a team, like a squad, Carlos cannot play with us. With me, no – it is finished. For two years I have helped him, and now he has refused to play. Never again."

Although Tevez apologised and got back into the squad under Mancini, the incident in Germany tainted his otherwise impressive City spell.

Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole joining Chelsea from Arsenal after winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups did not come easily to Wenger.

The French boss later admitted reject that money was the issue in the transfer – and appeared upset at watching the left-back progress with their rivals.

He said: "Ashley Cole is one of the few players that developed even more and continued to develop when he left."

Luis Figo

Luis Figo provided the most controversial football transfer in history by joining Real Madrid from bitter rivals Barcelona back in 2000 while on the brink of winning the Ballon d'Or.

With aggressive banners and even a pigs head behind thrown onto the pitch by his new enemies – not one spares much thought for the manager and club president.

With Louis van Gaal left to rebuild, Barca chief Joan Gaspart said: "We aren't going to start anything but, and I don't want this to sound like a threat, I'm not going to forget this."

Fabian Delph

Fabian Delph was Tim Sherwood's star player at Aston Villa back in 2014/15, with the former Tottenham boss insisting that they would've been relegated without him.

With the midfielder pledging his future to the club on July 10 of that summer, Sherwood said: "He had an opportunity to join Man City and he weighed up his options and decided to stay with us, which we’re obviously all delighted about."

He signed for City on a five-year deal just seven days later, with Sherwood sacked in October and Villa relegated with just 17 points.


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