Transfer window woes
The transfer window brings with it some of the most exciting and complicated moments of the summer for a football fan.
Transfer deals evolve and develop over time, with players, agents and numerous teams often involved. They all contribute to make a window exciting and unpredictable.
This summer, several high-profile players have been linked with moves, including Spurs midfielder Christian Eriksen and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane was linked with a move to Real Madrid, whilst Manchester City’s Leroy Sane was believed to be a target for Bayern Munich before he tore his ACL.
The transfer window always produces fascinating situations, some of which we examine here.
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Gareth Bale is one of the world’s best paid players and a move this summer to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning would have cemented that status further. They had a deal lined up for the former Spurs forward thought to be worth £1m a week.
He’s been frozen out by new Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, making a Bernabéu exit highly likely. However, his move to China collapsed as Florentino Pérez, the president of Real, decided he wanted a transfer fee for the 30-year-old.
Bale been linked with moves to Manchester United and Spurs in the past, but his huge wages are a stumbling block for any club looking to sign him. He’s been impressive during his time in Madrid and at 30-years-old he still has plenty to offer.
Bale has scored 102 times for Real in 231 appearances but looks unlikely to be a key part of their squad this season, even if a move doesn’t materialise.
Exciting Brazilian superstar Neymar was the talk of the transfer window in August 2017 as he made a world-record £198m move from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain in France. He scored 105 goals in 186 outings for the Catalan giants before his move.
Two years later, he’s desperate to force a move back to Spain with both Real Madrid and Barca looking to bring him back to La Liga, he’s so desperate that he’s refusing to play for PSG. He’s been training on his own and has not taken part in their pre-season tour of China.
It’s a huge blow to French side, who had hoped to keep him at the club as they chase Champions League glory. The talented Brazilian has his mind set on a move back to Spain and will go to any lengths to force it through.
It comes as some surprise that the two parties are willing to discuss a move; Barcelona sued the attacker following his departure in 2017.
Still only 27-years-old, the flamboyant forward is at the pinnacle of his career and with an impressive goal return wherever he plays, it seems his past indiscretions will be put to one side in order to complete a move.
33-year-old centre back Laurent Koscielny made 353 appearances for Arsenal during a nine-year stay at the Emirates, but decided he wanted to leave them this summer.
He served the club diligently under Arsene Wenger, winning three FA Cups, but chose to force a move following his mentor’s departure. This comes despite finishing as a Europa League runner up under Unai Emery, losing to Chelsea in his final game for the club.
Koscielny, Arsenal’s captain, refused to take part in their pre-season tour of the United States after they turned down his request for his contract to be terminated. That left him at war with the club he called home for almost a decade.
He was stripped of the captaincy before securing a move to Bordeaux, where he angered Arsenal fans by tearing off their shirt to reveal the colours of his new club during his unveiling video.
His actions have cast a huge shadow over his Arsenal career, spoiling what should have been a fine legacy thanks to his longevity and previous commitment to the Gunners.
The young striker was hot property in the summer of 2015, having scored 20 goals in 45 appearances for Premier League side West Brom. That had alerted several top English clubs, with Spurs putting in a bid for his services.
West Brom wanted to hang on to their prized asset and rejected the initial bid. Spurs came back with three more offers, all were rejected.
Berahino, his heart set on a switch, decided to take matters into his own hands; he tweeted that he would never play for the club again, personally attacking the chairman Jeremy Peace.
The Baggies held firm and he was forced to stay at the Hawthorns. Newcastle Spurs and Stoke all expressed an interest in him the following January, but his prolific record had tailed off.
He was sent to a training camp by the Baggies after becoming 8lbs overweight, something he attributed to the transfer saga. He claimed the situation had made him depressed, leading to his lack of fitness.
He did eventually get a move, joining Stoke City for £12m in January 2017. He scored just five times in three years for the Potters before having his contract terminated by mutual consent.
Perhaps the most famous of all deadline day deals that didn’t go ahead was that of Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie in 2013.
After two seasons with West Brom, Odemwingie decided he wanted to leave the club. He handed in a transfer request days before the deadline, which was rejected. This prompted him to launch into a rant on social media, accusing the club of ‘reaching into his pocket’ by preventing his move.
On deadline day he was thought to be on his way to Queens Park Rangers. He drove from the Midlands to Loftus Road to finalise the deal, but was refused entry to the ground after it emerged they had no interest in signing him; all of this was caught by the television cameras.
One of the most memorable images of any transfer window is that of Odemwingie outside Loftus Road, surrounded by a scrum of photographers as he turned around and made the long, embarrassing journey back up to the Hawthorns.
He was fined by the club and used sparingly as a substitute for the rest of the season.
Odemwingie finally left West Brom in the following summer, later playing for Cardiff, Stoke and Rotherham United.
The transfer window is great for supporters, but for the clubs involved it can be a nightmare. Players wanting to force moves can be disruptive and often bids come in at the eleventh hour, causing panic late on as players must be replaced.
With the amount of money in the modern game and agents always looking to engineer moves for their clients, the circus of the transfer window will only continue to enthrall, disrupt and entertain in the coming years.