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Many of you have been asking me why the January transfer window was so quiet. I think it’s important to explain what happened, because although we saw Tottenham making some big moves for Radu Dragusin, Timo Werner and Lucas Bergvall, there wasn’t a single senior player signed by any one of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool or Newcastle.
It was a super quiet window, especially in England. Elsewhere we saw that Bayern Munich were quite busy, PSG signed some talented young players but no major spending, and it was quiet as well for clubs in Italy and Spain, with Financial Fair Play being key.
FFP was creating big issues for English clubs – we’re a bit more used to it in Italy and Spain, with balancing the books very important, but for English clubs it feels like something quite new. It’s important to stick to the rules and do things in a very precise way, and that’s why all these big clubs didn’t sign a single player. For Tottenham it was different after selling Harry Kane in the summer and not using that budget straight away.
For the others, FFP made a big impact, and it’s had an impact in terms of top clubs having to sell some of their academy players to make some profit ahead of the summer window. In the summer it will also be different because fresh money is expected to come from Saudi clubs again – that is going to be crucial for clubs to reinvest on the market.
The feeling is that the summer transfer window will be crazy, with many big deals happening. Kylian Mbappe is one situation to follow – both Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are expecting Mbappe to announce his decision soon, we’re still waiting for that communication – first he will communicate his decision to PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, but for sure Real Madrid keep working very strong and very hard on this deal – they are on it.
Still, let me clarify that. despite what’s been reported by some, I never said Mbappe will announce his future on Feb 14, I don’t know where this is coming from. In any case there are constant contacts from Madrid to make it happen. The discussion is about the salary, potential contract and more, and it’s constant communication. PSG will wait and hope until the end, as nothing has been communicated to them yet.
It’s also important to say that many strikers will be part of this domino – Victor Osimhen has a release clause and is expected to leave Napoli. Nothing is decided yet, but the interest from Chelsea is there as they will sign a top striker in the summer. The interest from Arsenal is also there – they are considering different options, but they want to go for a top striker in the summer too.
Then we’ll also need to see what happens at Man United as there will be a revolution with a new director of football. Dan Ashworth is the favourite for the role at United and that will be key to understanding their transfer plans. Liverpool will also have a new director and then a new manager, with Xabi Alonso considered higher on the list than Roberto De Zerbi, but the situation is quite open. All these movements will lead to a crazy summer window.
Some other names to keep an eye on include Benjamin Sesko – he could be on the move and some big clubs are following him. Sesko has been linked with AC Milan but there’s no negotiation yet and many clubs are interested. Amadou Onana at Everton is also on the list of many top clubs for the summer in England, but also in Spain. And keep an eye on Alphonso Davies who is on the list at Real Madrid. Martin Zubimendi is another – three clubs will go very strongly for him…one of them is Bayern because they want that type of player, another one is Arsenal, as they will sign an important midfield player in the summer and he’s super appreciated by Mikel Arteta. Barcelona also want him but let’s see what happens with FFP there and how much they can spend this summer.
Keep an eye as well on Crystal Palace as I think it’s going to be interesting in the summer especially for Michael Olise, who is on the list of many top clubs in England. I think he’s going to be one of the big names of the window, but where is he going, it’s still too early to say. Eberechi Eze was on Manchester City’s list last summer, though there’s no development so far since then.
FFP had a big impact on the January transfer window, but overall the feeling in the summer is that it will be a very different story.
Jesse Lingard – He had many opportunities also in Europe, but he wants to try something different – also he was training with Al Ettifaq months ago. He will travel to South Korea and then decide on this step, the proposal from FC Seoul is on the table and it’s valid for two years.
David Moyes – There are concrete discussions ongoing to extend David Moyes’ contract at West Ham. Moyes wants to stay, the discussions are advancing well and I’m told in the next weeks there will be movement in terms of final details to get it done. West Ham are happy with his work.
Luka Modric – Carlo Ancelotti has again apologised for not playing Luka Modric more, but it’s Modric who will decide his future, Real Madrid leave it in his hands. He already rejected a huge proposal from Saudi last summer to stay at Real Madrid, then a decision will be made near to the end of the season to understand the next step of his career.