Written by Ian Hope
I for one cannot wait until 5pm Thursday and the closing of the transfer window in England. It appears that with each transfer window comes more evidence of players whoring themselves out to the highest bidder.
Previous transfer windows
There was a time only a few years ago that everyone used to be glued to their television sets watching Sky Sports broadcast throughout the day capturing every deal at every club. We used to love seeing reporters pitched outside training grounds trying to remain professional whilst a group of teenagers did whatever they could in the background to put the reporter off. Everyone remembers this reporter who had sex toy pushed in his ear on live television!
No transfer deadline day could be complete without either Barry Fry wheeling and dealing or Harry Redknapp talking to reporters from behind the wheel of his car outside the training ground. Back then it all seemed interesting and lovingly chaotic.
At some point in recent times, the magic has worn off. For a few years we loved Jim White putting a finger to his ear, shrieking in excitement and informing us all of a possible move. Sadly over time, Jim has become irritating and pointless. Sky spend all summer trying to talk up transfers and gossip but end up turning us all off. For one day it was exciting and tense, now as Sky drag the whole saga out all summer it has become boring and drab. No more Peter Odemwingie moments turning up outside the doors of another football club hoping to manufacture a move away from his present employers to amuse us.
We all know player power is nothing new but recently it has spread through football like a disease. Add agent power and the whole thing leaves a very bad taste in the mouths of football fans.
In this window we have seen Romelu Lukaku refuse to return to Old Trafford to train despite Manchester United happily trying to move him on. Chelsea`s David Luiz has now decided to fall out with his employers and try to force a move across London to Arsenal. Wifred Zaha has remained quiet all summer hoping a club will stump up enough cash so he can leave Crystal Palace. This despite him signing a new contract 12 months ago committing himself to the Eagles until 2022-23 season. Now we are getting down to the wire, Zaha decided to hand in a transfer request to force a move away.
The whole scenario is absurd. Crystal Palace are within their rights to demand a fee they believe is acceptable in the current market. No club appears to have met that fee and here we are in a position where Palace have a player who no longer wants to play for them yet they have less than 24 hours to find a replacement should Zaha get his move.
However, it was refreshing to see how Harry Maguire has conducted himself over the last two summer transfer windows. Despite constant speculation over him moving to either Manchester clubs, Maguire has remained tight lipped and knuckled down at Leicester.
No tantrums or demands, Maguire has known that should a deal not come off he would have to face Leicester supporters who pay to watch him every week. Publicly Maguire has been the ultimate professional even playing in some pre-season friendlies for Leicester.
Agents not only make an astronomically amount of money moving their players on, hence why they engineer moves but they feed journalists false information to help generate moves.
Football clubs get played right, left and centre by agents. The untimely death of Emiliano Sala opened up a murky world of agents with it becoming knowledge that false reports circulated by agents involved in Sala`s move stated that other English clubs were interested in the striker, therefore forcing Cardiff to make an improved successful bid.
How many times are the likes of Manchester United linked with players? Fans fall for the speculation, clubs have their name thrown in to force the transfer fee up and agents get their slice of the money.
The behaviour of Paul Pogba`s agent, Mino Raiola shows how agents try to manufacture moves. Giving interviews, dropping hints, etc all unnecessary when an agent should really stick to speaking to the relevant parties in private. Is it really necessary for an agent to speak in the press? Surely their role should be to conduct negotiations in private between all the relevant parties?
Despite Raiola`s shenanigans, it appears only one derisory bid has come in for Pogba which was rejected outright. All his words have done nothing but drive a bigger wedge between supporters and the player.
Why is everything left to the last minute?
Despite clubs planning all year in readiness for the transfer window, some deals seem to only materialise at the eleventh hour. It has been widely known for sometime that Philipe Coutinho was no longer going to get regular football at Barcelona. Yet here we are with a day to go and he is suddenly being offered to all and sundry.
Whilst some deals are reliant on others being sold almost like a domino effect once one club pays another, many are not with the richest clubs wealthy enough to pay for a transfer outright.
Coutinho is being offered up all over Europe yet the likelihood is he will only move this summer as part of a loan deal. The sums mentioned for a season long loan are eye watering. It is no wonder Tottenham have reportedly walked away from a possible £25m season long loan.
There have been instances where clubs have walked away from deals due to the ridiculous amounts of money wanted by agents and players to move country. Paulo Dybala is one example.
Dybala clearly doesn’t fancy a move away from Juventus. Who would given their dominance of Italian football? Why move to a club in rainy England who are not even in the Champions League in Manchester United? The figures quoted for him to be persuaded to live in leafy Cheshire were obscene and it was refreshing for United to see this and realise the player didn’t have the heart to come. When you have had your fingers burnt with Angel Di Maria et al you learn not to fall for that tactic again.
For all the times clubs walk away from jaw dropping deals there are plenty who will pay over the odds. For all the Maguire`s out there, count many Odemwingies.
For these reasons, the transfer silly season will continue to roll on.