With the transfer window having just opened, I feel that now, right at the beginning, is the best time to bring this issue to the forefront of peoples minds. Countless journalists report various transfers and interests every single say, and it goes without saying that some of them are simply ludicrous. I think most people are able to define which journalists and outlets are credible and which aren’t, but a lot of people get too excited at the mere sight of their dream transfer thrown in to circulation on twitter.
Every single club has a different approach to transfers. Something else worth thinking about is your clubs financial state. Just this week rumours of Ronaldo being unhappy at Real Madrid have began and at least three Premier League clubs fans have began speculating, whilst the possibility of him going to the MLS also became a popular theory. The reality is that there are less than five clubs in the entire world who could afford to both buy the Portuguese forward as well as cater for his wages; Man United, PSG & a small cluster of clubs in the Chinese Super League (although there are some complications with foreign transfers there). The release clause for Ronaldo reportedly stands at a cool €1bn (roughly £850m with todays exchange rates), with his salary reported at €58m before tax. These figures are while he is still at Los Blancos, remember, so it’s likely that even larger sums will be required to pry him away from Spain. However, as people read headlines and get lost in a world of fantasy, these ridiculous figures seem to escape their minds.
So soon in the window, two clubs have already been faced with disappointment in their efforts to sign players. Liverpool’s attempt to sign Virgil van Dijk was halted after the Saints accused Liverpool of approaching van Dijk without consent. In the end, the Merseyside club ended up apologising to Southampton and ended their interest in the player, which then sparked rumours of Man City swooping in. Those quickly died out, and it now seems unlikely the player will be leaving the south coast this summer. Another big saga that ended in disappointment was Griezmann’s proposed transfer to Man Utd. The Frenchman looked all set for a move to Manchester, having reportedly agreed personal terms (on many occasions…) and even claiming on French TV that the likelihood of him joining United this summer was 6/10. Atletico Madrid were then struck with a transfer ban, meaning that if they lost their spearhead striker they wouldn’t even have the chance to buy in a replacement. Loyalty prevailed and Griezmann signed a new deal with Atletico until 2022. In a statement from Griezmann, following his contract extension, he apologised to people who “misunderstood statements” from the player.
Given that in those two examples alone, they both end up with retrospective parties apologising, reiterating the initial point seems rather redundant. But, for those of you who have got this far without realising, until you see solid evidence of a rumour – and I mean solid, wait until the player is seen holding a club shirt up, or signing his contract, or playing an actual game for the club – please take everything you read with a pinch of salt. Journalists linking every player to one club, one is bound to be true. Realistic approaches will in the end both help your own sanity and help appreciate signings your club does make. Understand your clubs limits, realistic targets and positions you will be targeting. Don’t believe the hype.