Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid lead the way on deadline day
With the transfer window cloing on 11pm Monday 2nd September, there are still a few transfers left to wrap up.
While they’ve tidily done their transfer business ahead of deadline day this summer, Tottenham are the main reason the last day is so spiced up – they held up Bale’s sale until Sunday, despite having tacitly agreed to sell him at the start of the summer.
While Tottenham’s strategy made sense – they wanted to ensure that they brought in all the players they needed before selling – the delays with bringing in Lamela (held up while Roma chased Fiorentina’s Adam Ljajic) and Erikssen (a late replacement for Willian – who was poached by Chelsea last week) meant that Madrid could not sell or buy any players despite wanting to do so.
So how does Spurs’ strategy affect the big teams? Let’s go through them one by one.
Heavy spenders themselves this summer, they were always going to offload a couple of players and Bale’s signing makes it a more urgent requirement.
They originally wanted to sell Angel Di Maria and while that deal may still happen, Arsenal’s interest and the player’s dissatisfaction with the state of affairs at Madrid means that Ozil is the most likely departure from Madrid. At the time of writing, Arsenal / Madrid have agreed to a 45m Euros deal (with an additional 5m based on objectives) with the player still to negotiate his terms (expect Ozil to break Arsenal’s ‘wage structure’).
Di Maria could still be on his way as well, although what’s confirmed is that Coentrao is definitely staying.
And lastly, Benzema must have thought that Higuain’s departure meant he had a greater role to play but it seems that Madrid are keen on replacing him as long as a buyer can be found. Arsenal again are interested (having gone from Rooney to Higuain to Suarez to Benzema) and if Benzema goes, expect a mega bid from Madrid for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez.
While Liverpool have been loathe to sell to a league rival, they have repeatedly said on record that if a Bayern or Madrid or Barcelona came calling they would not stand in his way. Madrid are going to test that claim today, and with Suarez itching to move (and Liverpool signing Victor Moses on loan from Chelsea), he may yet get it.
Widely derided for not spending this summer (with Sanogo and Flamini their only 2 signings coming in for free) and lambasted for not strengthening the goalkeeping and defensive ranks, Arsenal could end the transfer window with an eye-catching set of signings.
They’re in for three of Real Madrid’s players – Mesut Ozil, Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema. While the Ozil deal is done and only player terms are left to negotiate, the other two are still in the air. Madrid are more open to losing Benzema and have pegged Arsenal-target Luis Suarez as a replacement – it will come down to whether Arsenal have the transfer fees and the wages to bring in three Madrid players expecting improved wages.
Linked with two players since January, United have left it to the last day to sign them. Reportedly 2 European clubs got in touch with Everton to enquire about Baines and Fellaini last week only to be told that the players were headed to United. Everton’s reluctance to do any business early on stems as much from United’s ‘strategy’ to stagger their bids as from Everton’s desire to at least retain their key players for the first few games of the season.
While Fellaini and Baines are more or less done (Fellaini more certain than Baines), United’s deal for Bilbao’s Ander Herrera is also expected to be concluded today, with United having agreed terms with the player and only needing to pay the buyout clause, which they were expected to do today.
With Wayne Rooney and Nani not leaving Old Trafford, there are strong rumours that Shinji Kagawa could leave for PSG on the final day, which would be a shame considering how top-heavy PSG already are and how much Kagawa can still contribute to United’s cause over the course of the season.
United were interested bringing in a center-back at the start of the summer window but will now pursue that option next year. In other departures, Alexander Buttner is expected to join Celtic on loan although this could depend on Baines signing for United first.
With deals for Sakho, Illori and Moses done and top of the table after their first games, Liverpool could be forgiven for considering their chances for a strong challenge for the Champions League spots and plan further reinforcements. Especially since selling Suarez to Madrid could bring in the funds they need to strengthen the squad in key areas.
Liverpool have bought smartly this summer, and unless there’s a surprise move for Agger by Barcelona they are well-covered in all areas even if Suarez leaves. However, you can expect at least one more signing from them and it’s likely to be another shrewd deal like all the other signings in the last two transfer windows.