The coronavirus pandemic has made the window for summer transfers very different from its predecessors, but now that football is back on the agenda, the window for January in the top European leagues will be open as usual.
Although FIFA claims that clubs spent almost 1.5 billion euros (1.9 billion dollars) less in the summer than in the previous year, a number of agreements were made in October when the winter window opened. January is traditionally a quieter month, but will the world events see a different strategy for the summit?
Here are the estimates for all major cases. The most recent depreciations are at the top; each day in ascending order of price. If you don’t see a score for a completed move, come back later. All fees are stated unless confirmed *.
Schalke : B+
The Schalke are a wreck and need all the help they can get after a 13-match winless run in the first half of the Bundesliga. The return of a former player is a good start, and giving him the job of captain when he is only on loan for the rest of the season is a clear sign that something is wrong. He will want to impress them and can certainly help them.
The arsenal plays on Kieran Tierney’s health. The Scottish defender has been excellent this season, but the injury and the Gunners may have a problem without Kolasinac. Then there is Bukayo Saka on the left side, who is better to use further down the field, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who feels more comfortable on the right side or in midfield. Kolasinac was clearly frustrated by the lack of playing time (and probably by the suspension of his friend Mesut Özil), but let him go in the season with more injuries than most could have been.
Man United : B
*When the work permit is announced.
After only playing a handful of games for the Italian team, the announcement in October that Diallo would move to ManUnited came as a shock. Atalanta brought the 18-year-old into the ranks and congratulated him, but the offer of 21 million euros, with the possibility of another 20 million euros, was too good to reject. Maybe they can keep it up for a few more years to see how it goes, but no one would blame them for taking money in the current context.
United games, but their transfer policy is aimed at young players and they have brought in one of the most exciting flanks. It would have been surprising if Diallo had gone straight to the first team, but they made a good attempt with a player they’ve been chasing for a year after he was impressed in the UEFA Youth League. It’s a lot of money, but at least half of the cost depends on performance.
FC Salzburg : B
RB Leipzig : A
The relationship between the two clubs, which belong to the Red Bulls, made the negotiations fairly easy, as it is a well-traced path for the players. Salzburg may be able to get more money for the Hungarian midfielder, but they will put money in the bank and see if they can develop their next young talent.
Szoboslaj has courted major clubs, including Arsenal, Milan, Bayern and Real Madrid. So Leipzig did an excellent job of convincing the 20-year-old to continue his development in Germany. It’s probably the perfect club for him, as his playing style is similar to that of Salzburg and the Bundesliga has a reputation for nurturing the skills of young players. We expect to hear a lot more Shoboslai in the coming years.
€8 million (£6 million, $9.75 million)
Partizan Belgrade: C+
Man City: B-
Partizan took the unusual step of announcing an agreement with Manchester City in October without ever confirming anything, so an element of doubt remains. The Serbian club, of which he became a member at the age of nine, holds the 18-year-old winger in high esteem, because he broke through in the beginning of the team this year after playing for youth teams. Partizan receives €8 million, plus extra costs, but may regret having let Stevanovic go so early in his career.
City scouts have seen something in the teenager, although Stevanovic is probably on loan for the rest of the season (and may return to Partizan). Although he cites Cristiano Ronaldo as a role model for his playing style, he’s still too inexperienced to play in City’s first team. They have approached 15 clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Chelsea for his signature, but he is clearly a player with a future.
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