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Transfer market - the show begins

Posted: Jun 6, 2022

Transfer market time then! Honestly, there is no better time to be a football fan whose club has not delivered on expectations. It is that sweet time of the football season when one can let hope dictate mood completely. In fact, even for those who have reveled in trophy-laden glory, this is an exciting time. And for those who work at clubs and are not players, this is the busiest time. For the players themselves, this could be a tense time. Am I staying or am I moving? If I am moving, to which club? And how will I settle down in the new club?

There are so many variables around world football once the season finishes. Most of it is extremely intriguing. Journalists are always on overdrive trying to get a scoop on potential movements. And in the rush to be the first, a lot of news are just rumours. In fact, most of the scoops are mostly organisations aiming to clickbait audiences into views. However, amidst the views mongering, there are still a few sources whose words are as close to Gospel as it gets. And yet, there still remains doubts till the player holds aloft the club's t-shirt.

In this the early stages of the summer window, the transfer market is still warming up. This is the calm phase before the storm. All parties are just slumbering back to pace after the race of last season. However, in a fortnight hence, the rumour mills will run in full swing. And so, here is a lowdown on the deals already completed as well as some major ones in the pipeline.

Transfer market - deals done

Transfer market HaalandAs of writing, 111 deals have been completed in Europe's top five leagues. The combined worth of all transfers stands at 444.7 million British pounds. Erling Haaland's move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City is the most expensive transfer of the completed lot. The Norwegian has moved to the English champions for 51.5 million British pounds. City's long quest for a number 9 finishes with Haaland. And Pep Guradiola will be pleased to land the young striker at release clause.

Federico Chiesa and Nuno Mendes, another set of young upcoming stars almost moved clubs. Both of them were basically at their new clubs. However, they have now formalised the loan to permanent moves. Both players have cost their respective clubs a shade over 34 million British pounds. Dortmund, never too late on scouting exciting youngsters, have replaced Haaland with Karim Adeyemi. The German forward scored 23 goals for RB Salzburg last season. Dortmund have also acquired Nico Schlotterbeck at centre back.

The mid table English teams have also flexed their muscle. Philippe Coutinho has signed a permanent deal at Aston Villa and they have also roped in Sevilla defender Diego Carlos. Newcastle United have also been busy in the early stages. The Magpies have signed Hugo Ekitike from French club Reims. The young forward who cost 30 million euros is highly rated. Meanwhile, Leeds United have also made a move. They have brought on board Brendan Aaronson from RB Salzburg. The 21-year-old is a promising playmaker and former manager Marcelo Bielsa was sold on him.

Over in Italy, Joaquin Correa completed his obligatory move from Lazio to Inter after the season-long loan.

Transfer market - free agents and moves

Paul Pogba JuventusAntonio Rudiger is the biggest profile free transfer in the market thus far. The German has switched London blue for Madrid white. Rudiger is in his prime years and it represents a major coup for Real Madrid. The Champions League winners, who took the trophy from Chelsea, also took arguably their best defender. Rudiger joins Eder Militao, David Alaba and Nacho in the Madrid backline's heart. The first two paired successfully to help Los Blancos to an unprecedented 14th UEFA Champions League title. Rudiger, however, will surely displace one of them to the starting lineup.

Gareth Bale, the five-time Champions League winner at Madrid, is also a free agent in the transfer market. The Welsh attacker was clearly out of favour at the Spanish capital and thus, released. Any move with regular football will benefit him in a World Cup year. The left-footed wizard has led his side to a World Cup finals berth after 64 years and will thus want to play regularly heading into Qatar later this year.

Alexandre Lacazette is another big name who is available for free in the transfer market.

Manchester United clearout

On free agents, Manchester United are clearing out their wage bill significantly this summer. Thus, there are plenty of former Old Trafford players available in the transfer market. Juan Mata, the first signing of the post-Ferguson era, has moved on from the club. The FA Youth Cup winning duo of Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba will also wear new colours next season. Pogba, it is highly rumoured, is headed back to Italy. Juventus are leading the race to sign the World Cup winner. Meanwhile, PSG are also monitoring his situation. Nemanja Matic is also among those leaving Manchester. The Serb will head to Rome and reunite with former manager Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese, however, is linked with a job at PSG. Matic, irrespective, represents a smart buy for the UEFA Europa Conference League winners.

Transfer market - potential big moves

Transfer market Frenkie De JongMoving on from the deals that have happened or will happen for free. There are some high profile, potentially big money moves waiting to happen. The market had become ridiculously inflated in the aftermath of Neymar's move from Barcelona to PSG. Every transfer following that had a ripple effect of that mega transfer. In fact, clubs - ammunitioned with the knowledge that Barcelona had funds available and needed a replacement - began charging exorbitantly for acquisitions. Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele being prime examples. While the former's time can be termed as underwhelming, the latter may still have time left to turn things around.

Frenkie De Jong, another big move, is on the verge of falling apart. The talented midfielder is now seemingly out of favour at Camp Nou. And with Manchester United closely monitoring his situation, a move is quite likely. Supposedly, Frenkie is not part of Xavi's plans. And latest rumours indicate the Barcelona board is not too pleased with his performances either. Furthermore, the Spanish club needs some financial cushion to fund other moves. Hence, despite the Dutchman's willingness to carry on, a rather interesting dynamic is developing between the three parties. Add to that, the price quoted is around the 80 million euros mark.

Barcelona, on their part, are perhaps trying to acquire the funds to finance a move for Bayern's Robert Lewandowski. It has become quite clear that the Polish striker is gunning for a move to Spain and Barcelona are licking their lips at this potential acquisition. Bayern, on their part, are heavily interested in Liverpool's Sadio Mane. And, according to reports, have already tabled a bid which Liverpool has subsequently rejected. Mane's partner on field, Mo Salah is also on the market. The Egyptian is holding off for a better deal from Liverpool. And if the Reds do not revise the contract, he could be on his way out.

From one left footer to another, Romelu Lukaku is keen on a move back to Italy. Rumour has it that the Belgian is pushing for a return to San Siro where he will reunite with Inter Milan. Lukaku helped the Nerazzurri win the Scudetto in 2020-21 and would like to put a rather forgettable return to Chelsea behind him.