Frenkie de Jong: Manchester City hot on Ajax talent

It’s that time of the season again where the international break allows the media to perhaps give fans a false sense of hope with ludicrous transfer rumours. But if they are to be believed then Manchester City could well find themselves ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid to land Ajax and The Netherlands defender/midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

The Premier League champions are ready to pay £61 million for Frenkie de Jong who could be a likely replacement for the ageing Fernandinho. The 21-year-old has also garnered interest from City’s neighbours, Manchester United however, the prospect of playing under Pep Guardiola as opposed to Jose Mourinho surely is a no brainer for the youngster. Continue reading

Serie A officialize the new transfer market dates


Serie A presidents had decided a few months back to close the transfer market window prior to the first game of the season and the League officially set the dates yesterday: the session will start on July 1st and will end on August 17th, on Friday.

Some few other technicalities have been announced: the clubs can activate their pre-determined options to buy from June 18th to June 20th, while the rare counter-options have to be exercised from June 21st to June 23rdContinue reading

A summer of club record breaking transfer fees paid by Premier League teams

arsene wenger

So far this summer, six English Premier League teams have paid club record transfer fee’s, with the most recent of those being the £89m Manchester United spent to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus.

Pogba rejoins United

In doing so, Manchester United also set a new world record transfer fee. That previously stood at £85.3m, which was the fee Real Madrid paid Tottenham for Gareth Bale in 2013.

Prior to acquring Pogba, United’s record transfer fee which the club paid was £59.7m to Real Madrid for Angel de Maria in August 2014, whilst the Argentinean was sold just 12 months later to Paris Saint Germain for £44m.

United are the first English side to have broken the world record transfer fee, since Newcastle United did by paying Blackburn Rovers £15m for Alan Shearer at the end of July 1995, as the England international striker eclipsed Ronaldo as the world’s most expensive player. At the age of just 20, Ronaldo was sold by PSV Eindhoven to Paris Saint Germain for £13.2m

Whilst United’s recruitment of Pogba undoubtedly represents this summer’s most outstanding transfer in world football, many other English Premier League teams have paid some extremely high transfer fees, with six of those being new club records.

Bournemouth bring in Ibe

In order to sign new players this summer, Bournemouth have spent in the region of £30m, with £15.3m of that paid out to Liverpool for winger Jordan Ibe. That sum broke the record transfer fee paid by Bournemouth by over 50%, since their previous most expensive buy was Benik Afobe, who the club signed from Wolves for £10m in January 2016.

Townsend moves to Palace

Another club to have paid a far higher individual transfer fee this summer than have ever done before is Crystal Palace. The Eagle’s bought Andros Townsend from Newcastle for £13m, with the highest fee that they had previously paid being £10m to Paris Saint Germain for Yohann Cabaye.

Foxes pay two club record fees in one window

Reigning English Premier League champions Leicester City have paid two club record transfer fees this summer, with both of those being significantly more than the £9m which Andrej Kramaric cost them from FC Rijeka. After signing Nampalys Mendy from Nice for a then club record £13m, the Foxes then subsequently broke that by paying CSKA Moscow £16m for the Nigerian internationalist striker Ahmed Musa, with players being introduced in Leicester 2-1 Community Shield defeat to Manchester United.

In addition to Musa, two other African strikers have been bought by English Premier League teams for club record fees this summer, with those being his fellow countryman Isaac Success and Andre Ayew of Ghana.

Watford secure Success

At a fee close to £12.5m, Success, formerly of Granada, became Watford’s most expensive ever signing, as the 20-year-old claimed that title from Abdoulaye Doucore, who the club paid Stade Rennes £8m for in February.

Ayew becomes West Ham’s record buy

Relative to Ayew, the former Marseilles striker moved to West Ham from Swansea for £20.5m, to eclipse the £15m the Hammers spent to sign Liverpool’s Andy Carroll in June 2013, which represented the highest transfer fee that they had previously spent.

Potential for further new club record signings to be set ahead of 2016-2017 season

Whilst Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Leicester, Manchester United, Watford and West Ham have all paid a club record transfer fee this summer, Ayew’s former club Swansea are on the verge of doing so. Specifically the Welsh side are on the verge of spending £15m to recruit Atletico Madrid striker Borja Baston, with the club’s current record signing being Wilfried Bony, now of Manchester City, who they paid Vitesse Arnhem £12m for in July 2013.

Ultimately that so many English Premier League teams have paid out a club record transfer fee this summer is indicative of both quality players being signed and inflated prices in the transfer market, which has increasingly become the case over recent years.

Nevertheless, those teams that have set new a new club record transfer fee have done so in order to secure the services of a player who can undoubtedly play a key role for them during the 2016-2017 English Premier League season. That is set to commence on 13 August, when Leicester City start the defence of their title away to Hull City.

Five players whose stock unexpectedly rose drastically at Euro 2016

Group E Belgium vs Italy

International tournaments are being watched by millions of football fans, but also by every important human being in every club management. It is therefore one of the best ways for a player to put himself in the spotlights.

A bunch of internationals made their stock rise during Euro 2016, but the following five did so in an unexpected and drastic way.

Emanuele Giaccherini (Italy – Sunderland)

Italy weren’t expected to do much in France, but the Azzurri beat Belgium in their opening game of the tournament and went on to beat Spain before losing to Germany on penalty’s in the quarter-finals. Emanuele Giaccherini was a key player in Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 formation and has seen has stock rise dramatically.

The 31-year-old failed to live up to the expectations at Sunderland and played on loan at Bologna last season. He’s set to depart the Black Cats and even Chelsea have called. Giaccherini is most likely to end up in Serie A, but his goal against Belgium, endless work rate en timely forward runs have made him an unexpected wanted man this summer.

Hal Robson-Kanu (Wales – free agent)

“Without doubt, running down my contract at Reading was the best decision of my life. Reading wanted me to stay, but I felt it was the right time to move and take my future in my own hands. I always believed in myself,” Hal Robson-Kanu said after scoring a Cruyff-like goal in Wales’ quarter-final win against Belgium, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

The 27-year-old striker is a free agent after Reading let him go, and scored twice for the Dragons at Euro 2016, as he also hit the net in a group stage encounter with Slovakia. Robson-Kanu is hunted by many clubs, including a couple from the Premier League, and will make his decision soon. One that nobody could have imagined a couple of weeks ago.

Balazs Dzsudzsak (Hungary – Bursaspor)

It took Hungary play-offs to make it to France and nobody expected them to quality from Group F with Portugal, Austria, and Iceland. But they did, as Hungary even won the group with five points. The Hungarians drew against Iceland and Portugal, and beat Austria. Their star player, Balazs Dzsudzsak, found himself at the heart of their success.

The 29-year-old scored a beautiful brace against Cristiano Ronaldo and co, while showcasing his speed, creativity, and work rate in midfield. The former PSV player left Russian Dinamo Moscow for Bursaspor last summer, but he’s primed to jump to a bigger league like the Bundesliga due to the interest by a number of German clubs.

Marko Pjaca (Croatia – Dinamo Zagreb)

You must have done something right when Juventus, AC Milan, Napoli, and Borussia Dortmund are engaging in a bidding war for your services. That is the case for Marko Pjaca, who showcased his speed and dribbling skills on Croatia’s wing during games against Spain and Portugal.

The 21-year-old played just 103 minutes at Euro 2016, but made his mark in a big way. He’s primed to leave Dinamo Zagreb and is already being compared to Germany’s Julian Draxler. Milan look to have to upper hand for now, but Pjaca’s performances in France have nearly doubled his market value.

Michael McGovern (Northern Ireland – Hamilton Academical)

Only three goalkeepers made more saves at Euro 2016 than Northern Ireland’s Michael McGovern, who had 17 as his country made an astonishing run which ended with a 1-0 loss to Wales in the round of 16. Those three keepers were Poland’s Lukasz Fabianski (19), Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois (20), and Iceland’s Hannes Halldorsson (27).

The 31-year-old was the highest-rated goalkeeper of the group stages, according to Opta statistics. He was most impressive during Northern Ireland’s encounter with World Champions Germany, which they lost only 1-0. McGovern made a series of superb saves against the Germans, making his search for a club this summer a lot easier.

FIFPro’s goals to reform transfer market are noble but unrealistic


Last year FIFPro, the union that represents footballers around the world, launched a legal action against FIFA in the hope of outlawing the transfer system and fundamentally changing the professional game. However, their proposals are noble but unrealistic…

The union believes the transfer system, as it has stood since 2001, has failed to deliver on his promises. FIFPro argues the system has not delivered contractual stability, it has not helped redistribute money from big to small clubs, and it has not helped bring more competitive leagues, with football agents taking big cuts in transfer deals.

Some of their proposals should be implied as soon as possible. Like the one where “any player not paid by their club for more than 30 days can terminate their contract providing they have given the club at least 10 days’ written notice”. Currently that period is 90 days and the player must take its case to FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber. So no doubt this is a great proposal by the union.

However, there are others that are very noble but far from realistic and even conflicting with its own goals. Here, I will be looking at two specific proposals: abolishing transfer fees and ending the loan system.

Abolishing transfer fees hurts small clubs

FIFPro argues that big clubs are providing financial imbalance due to the fact that they are able to spend huge transfer fees on the players they like, which smaller clubs can’t afford. On top, the union believes smaller clubs gamble on selling one or two star players to sustain themselves. Therefore, transfer fees should be abolished to create more balance.

In essence, the union is trying to create the same system that stands in the NBA, the biggest professional basketball league in the United States. Instead of paying transfer fees, football clubs will engage in a contract trading system. One big contract for another one. In theory, this could help to diminish the gap between big and small clubs.

But in football, it will only hurt smaller clubs. In the NBA, there is one market and one set of rules. In European football, there are different markets and different sets of rules when it comes to, for example, TV deals, resources of income, and the legal amount of foreign players. Clubs like Udinese and Palermo have been amazing at scouting young talents all over the world, giving them a chance to shine, and selling them with a profit. That gives them an edge to sustain their great work. If you take that away, you hurt them.

If FIFPro is serious about competitiveness, they should aim for one set of rules across Europe. The Premier League will once again take a huge financial leap forward with their new TV deal coming next season, with a team like Bournemouth being able to spend more than AC Milan. That’s just ridiculous. If you want a system like the NBA, there’s the obligation to get one TV deal for all European clubs, one fixed amount of foreign players (there is none in England, e.g.), one cap system for player’s wages and so on. Not punishing smaller clubs for great scouting and player development by abolishing transfer fees.

Ending the loan system hurts young players

Talking about wages, the FIFPro also argues that “players, especially young players, need more protection. There must be a better distribution of money to help smaller clubs and we have to reduce the number of loans.” The union even goes as far as to say it wants to end the loan system by limiting squad sizes.

Again, there’s a logical approach to the union’s proposal here. But also once again, this will only hurt smaller clubs and especially young players. A big club like Juventus currently has 60 players out on loan. That is a lot and it doesn’t always makes sense. However, the majority of their loanees are young, talented, and aspiring players who get the chance to develop their game with a smaller club, while that smaller club doesn’t have to pay a transfer fee and also doesn’t have to pay his full salary.

This benefits the players and clubs involved greatly. You can’t blame big clubs for scouting properly and developing young players, meaning ending the loan system would be nothing but ridiculous. It’s even beneficial for a club like Juventus, who were able to land Juan Cuadrado on loan and turn him into a key player and restoring his confidence, while they would have been unable to buy him from Chelsea in the summer of 2015. Even big clubs can diminish the gap with the biggest ones on this planet here.

To conclude, the FIFPro has a case that the current transfer system does not always achieves the goals it was supposed to achieve. Yes, changes are needed. But abolishing transfer fees and ending the loan system are not the ones that will make football more competitive. On the contrary, those changes will only hurt smaller clubs and (young) players.