After two underwhelming seasons in Turin, Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey could be offered back to former club Arsenal this summer in a transfer that may work for all parties.
Catalan newspaper Sport reported the Bianconeri could decide to use Ramsey as a makeweight in their efforts to tempt Hector Bellerin away from the Emirates Stadium.
It’s not the first time a major name could return to their former stomping grounds, with numerous stars in the past re-signing for their old clubs after discovering the grass isn’t always greener.
World Cup winners, European champions and hometown heroes feature among the most prominent examples, though some enjoyed better fortune than others when it came to retracing their steps.
Many will wonder what might have been had Kaka never left AC Milan for Real Madrid in 2009, briefly becoming the world’s most expensive transfer before Cristiano Ronaldo smashed the record again that same summer.
A 2002 World Cup winner with Brazil, Kaka was frequently considered one of the best in the world during his first stay at the San Siro and won the Ballon d’Or in 2007.
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His legacy suffered slightly after a disappointing four years with Los Blancos, however, with one league title (2012) and a Copa del Rey (2011) all he had to show for his time at Real.
Kaka never lived up to his billing as a Galactico and re-signed with Milan on a free transfer in 2013. He also rejoined boyhood club Sao Paulo for a second stint on loan from Orlando City the following year.
Didier Drogba was fully deserving of a lucrative move to Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua after he converted the winning penalty in Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League final win over Bayern Munich.
But that wasn’t to be the end of his story with the Blues.
Jose Mourinho saw value in the Ivory Coast’s all-time record goalscorer after he himself returned to Stamford Bridge, re-signing his former talisman in 2014 as a ripe 36-year-old.
Drogba proved age is indeed just a number and scored seven times across 40 more appearances for Chelsea in a swan-song season, helping the west Londoners clinch a Premier League and League Cup double.
Some would consider Manchester United’s handling of Paul Pogba as the epitome of poor value when it comes to repeat signings.
The Red Devils allowed their star to join Juventus for nothing in 2012, only to spend a club-record £89.3million to bring him back four years later, and the jury remains out for many on whether it’s been a success.
Pogba, 28, is set to enter the last 12 months of his United contract, with reports he could return to Juventus in a swap that may bring about another Old Trafford reunion involving Ronaldo.
Not content with re-signing for only one club, Hernan Crespo represented both Inter Milan and Parma on two separate occasions during a professional career that lasted almost 20 years.
At one point the most expensive player in the world, former Chelsea and Lazio striker Crespo left the San Siro for Stamford Bridge in 2003, only to return to Inter three years later (initially on loan).
However, his hiatus between Parma postings proved much longer. Crespo first left the Crociati for a world-record transfer to Inter in 2000, returning almost a decade later before he retired in 2012 as Parma’s all-time top scorer (94 goals in 201 appearances).
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Even the return of legend Andriy Shevchenko couldn’t inspire Dynamo Kiev back to Ukraine’s summit in his second spell at the club, or at least not in the same way he did during his first.
Before big-money moves to Milan or Chelsea came to pass, Shevchenko powered the capital club to five consecutive league titles, as well as three Ukrainian Cups.
The national icon—now incumbent Ukraine coach—became Milan’s record signing when he moved to Italy in 1999, and it would be another decade before he found his way back to Kiev.
Shevchenko went on to score 30 goals in 83 appearances for Dynamo across the final three seasons of his career before hanging up his boots in 2012.
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Thierry Henry didn’t need his 2012 loan spell at the Emirates Stadium to confirm his place as Arsenal’s record goalscorer, but his was nonetheless welcomed as the return of the prodigal son.
Even in a stay comprising just seven appearances across two months, Henry continued to do what he did best and came up with clutch goals to earn narrow wins over Leeds and Sunderland.
The victory lap took place not long after Arsenal erected a statue of the Frenchman outside the Emirates in late 2011, sending a subtle reminder of what the fans were missing.
Henry left Arsenal for a second time having raised his record to 228 goals in 337 appearances, playing another three MLS seasons with the New York Red Bulls before retiring in 2014.
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As if Middlesbrough’s fanbase didn’t adore Juninho Paulista enough following his first transfer to the Riverside Stadium, the Brazilian went on to sign for the northeast outfit on two more occasions.
‘The Little Fella’ was unable to save Boro from relegation in 1997 and left for Atletico Madrid in a bid to make Brazil’s squad for the World Cup the following year.
Juninho later returned to England following Middlesbrough’s return to the top flight, first rejoining on loan in 1999 before making the permanent switch back in 2002.
Widely considered one of Boro’s best of all time, the pint-sized puppeteer pulled the strings to lift the League Cup in 2004 before he left the Riverside for a third and final time.
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Premier League fans will remember Carlos Tevez most fondly for his feats at Manchester United, Manchester City and West Ham, but the South American spent the majority of his career with boyhood club Boca Juniors.
Tevez, 37, made his professional debut for the Buenos Aires powerhouse in 2001 and represented the club two decades later, having recently called time on his third (and likely last) spell at La Bombonera.
The forward won Argentinian league titles in each of his three separate stints, the latter two of which were broken up by a one-year stay in Shanghai, during which he earned a reported £650,000 a week.
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