Transfer deadline day is, rightly or wrongly, one of the most hotly-anticipated events in the football calendar. And for many supporters, it represents 24 hours of chaos, panic and excitement.
But this special day is far from the forefront of our minds at the moment, as we continue to struggle on without the Premier League and the majority of European football.
The football calendar may have come to a halt, but officials behind the scenes are working to try to find a suitable solution to the confusion and uncertainty that surrounds the remainder of the 2019/20 season, and the following campaign too.
And one of the hot topics of conversation is the summer transfer window, and how the Premier League will fit it around their plans to finish and then begin the current and subsequent season. But a plan has been formulated – and 90min is on hand to lay out all the important details for you to check out below.
Yep, this is the question on everyone’s lips. If we’re going to finish our current season as quickly and safely as possible, and then start another campaign immediately after, where will we find the time to dip into the transfer market?
Well, the current opening date for the transfer window is June 10, but that is set to be moved by the Premier League. The Daily Mail reports that provided that the 2019/20 campaign is completed before the end of August, and with the premise that the 2020/21 season will kick off in September, the Premier League wants to open the window on Thursday September 3.
This idea has been put to club executives, who will then take a vote and decide on the best course of action.
Not only did the Premier League produce a potential opening date, but they also factored in a possible closure of the transfer window, too.
The plan is for the summer transfer window to last for around a month, slamming shut in typically dramatic fashion on Monday October 5.
Premier League teams suffered last season after they closed their domestic transfer market earlier than the rest of Europe, resulting in clubs losing – and subsequently failing to replace – some of their top assets.
And this nightmare could be a possibility this season, as FIFA are prepared to allow all individual football associations the freedom to pick their own dates for the transfer window – meaning it could be a free-for-all over a chaotic summer.
The likelihood is that the transfer window will be far less active than usual, given the lack of certainty surrounding the current state of affairs in and outside of the world of sport. But even if the amount of money changing hands will be far less considerable than the normal hundreds of millions, teams may not be satisfied with only having a month to do their business.
Players’ agents will be desperate for an extended window, and they may even push for a super-transfer window, which could run through until as late as January. We may yet see Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho plying his trade in the Premier League in the 2020/21 campaign.
With the coronavirus pandemic affecting the finances of every football club, it seems likely that we will see more swap deals take place in the upcoming transfer window.
And while they aren’t a common occurrence in past windows, you can still find examples of clubs looking to save money by offloading one player to sign another. It adds another element of drama to the already crazy art of negotiating moves for players, while becoming a source of entertainment of its own, as fans debate and argue over who got the better deal.
With that all said, here’s a list of the biggest and most famous swap deals that have taken place in the history of football, with an assessment on each transfer.
We begin with the swap deal you’ve probably forgotten, unless you’re a Stoke or Cardiff fan. It’s fair to say that neither player had quite the impact their clubs were hoping for.
While Odemwingie started off well with five goals in his first 15 games, injuries led to a diminished role for the Nigerian at the Potters. As for Jones, he failed to help the Bluebirds avoid relegation from the top flight. The striker did end up Cardiff’s top-scorer for the next season, but was soon shipped out for loan spells elsewhere.
It’s rare for a swap deal to take place between two teams of different countries. But that’s what happened when Lazio arranged for Muslera’s departure to Turkey in exchange for bringing Cana to the Stadio Olimpico.
And despite the Albanian midfielder doing well in Serie A, Muslera ended up being a terrific signing for Cimbom. Still the first-choice stopper today, he’s won 14 trophies during his time at the club, and was voted the country’s footballer of the year in 2016.
Yes, you read that correctly. Palace legend Ian Wright was swapped for a couple of gym weights and a bag of footballs.
Having been scouted by the Eagles, they offered to hand the non-league side gym weights and balls in exchange for the player. The England international ended up scoring 118 goals for the south London club, and was voted their Player of the Century. As for the gym weights and footballs, we’ve no idea what happened to them…
Winner: Crystal Palace
There was excitement in the air on deadline day of the 2019 January window. No, not because Lazar Markovi? was headed to Fulham.
Rather, the big move was when Crouch and cash were exchanged by Stoke for the Burnley striker Vokes. In hindsight, neither side really won the deal – Crouchy retired months after the deal, while his Welsh counterpart has only netted seven times for the Potters. Hard to pick a winner here.
Winner: Burnley (for the £8m)
With Torres clearly not in the Rossoneri’s long-term plans, a move away seemed inevitable. Keen to bring him back to Los Rojiblancos, Diego Simeone traded away winger Alessio Cerci to sign the Spaniard on loan.
Despite having previously flourished in Serie A, the Italian scored once in 33 games for the club and now finds himself in Serie B. On the other hand, Torres played another 160 games for Atléti and was able to win the Europa League with his boyhood club.
Winner: Atlético Madrid
Having scored nine league goals in the 1997/98 Premier League season, Davies soon attracted the attention of Blackburn, who went on to send both youngster Beattie and £7.5m to the south coast in exchange for the forward.
Yet the move backfired on the Lancashire club, as Davies ended up scoring just twice in two seasons. And while Beattie needed some time to settle in, he eventually assumed the mantle of being the Saints’ star striker, netting 76 goals in 235 games before moving on to Everton.
With Reyes keen for a move back to Spain, Arsenal finally agreed to a loan-swap deal with Real Madrid, sending the winger there and gaining Júlio Baptista in return.
The Brazilian only scored three league goals in his sole season at the Emirates Stadium, and failed to make a major impact for the Gunners. Reyes on the other hand was more regularly used by Los Blancos as they went on to lift the La Liga title that year.
Winner: Real Madrid
With both city rivals struggling to make it work for their Italian strikers, they decided to swap them, albeit with Inter paying an extra £5.5m for Cassano.
Yet the Nerazzurri would find the former Real Madrid forward difficult to work with, despite his seven league goals, with many questioning his fitness and work ethic. Their counterparts, however, managed to get a prolific first season from Pazzini, before his scoring touch began to diminish in later years.
Winner: AC Milan
In what became Mauricio Pochettino’s first signings as Tottenham manager in 2014, Gylfi Sigurðsson was swapped to Swansea in exchange for both Ben Davies and Michel Vorm.
The Icelandic star became the key midfield talisman for the Swans, with his set-pieces and creativity crucial in staying afloat in the Premier League. But considering Davies’ status as the first-choice left-back in north London, Spurs will be happy with the deal they got, given that Vorm has also served as a solid back-up option for Hugo Lloris.
It was a major surprise when Sir Alex Ferguson sanctioned the signing of Andy Cole from Newcastle United, with £6m and youngster Keith Gillespie heading in the opposite direction.
But the legendary manager would have the last laugh, as Cole scored 121 goals to help the Red Devils claim five top-flight titles in a hugely successful period. As for the Tynesiders, they weren’t able to challenge their rivals, even though Gillespie ended up becoming a decent winger at St James’ Park.
Winner: Manchester United
Few swap transfers end up working out for both sides. Yet this deal ended up leaving Spurs and West Ham both happy with their respective goalscoring strikers.
Defoe would score 22 goals in his first full season at Spurs, and became the team’s chief marksman up front before he departed for Portsmouth. Meanwhile, Zamora didn’t quite reach the same heights as his predecessor, but was still a key player for the Hammers, helping the club achieve promotion in 2005.
Inter fans, look away. Here’s a brief summary of how you traded away arguably the best modern Italian footballer to have played to your city rivals.
Having not impressed the Nerazzurri’s management in his 40 appearances, the Andrea Pirlo was sent across the San Siro divide and was swapped for Guglielminpietro, as well as a bit of cash. While Guly only played 30 games for Inter, Pirlo became a star for the Rossoneri and won two Champions League titles. It’s pretty easy to see who won this swap deal.
Winner: AC Milan
With just a year left on Owen’s deal, Real Madrid capitalised and signed the Englishman, paying just £8m and sending Núñez to Anfield in exchange.
It couldn’t have gone worse for Núñez, who injured his knee in his first day of training and never was able to get into the Reds’ first team from that point onwards.
As for his English counterpart, the striker scored 16 goals in his only season in Spain before moving to Newcastle for £17m, in what became great business for Los Blancos.
Winner: Real Madrid
Having arrived at the San Siro for a €42m fee, Bonucci was a major disappointment for Milan. Given that he wasn’t getting any younger, the club looked for a replacement that could assume his position for the future.
Hence, the veteran was swapped back to former club Juventus for youngster Mattia Caldara, with Gonzalo Higuaín also temporarily headed to the Rossoneri. It didn’t work out well at all for Il Diavolo, as the Argentine found himself at Chelsea a few months later. And while Caldara has yet to establish himself for Milan, Bonucci has assumed his role for the Bianconeri without looking out of place. Juve definitely won this deal.
Wait, Inter traded away another Italian great three years after Pirlo?
Failing to excel at the San Siro, Cannavaro was swapped for Juventus goalkeeper Fabián Carini in 2004. The Uruguayan stopper played just four games for the Neruzzurri, while the legendary defender would win two Scudetti (before the club was stripped of their titles). Still, the Bianconeri got a way better return here…
Another swap deal between the Milan clubs saw Seedorf traded to the Rossoneri, in exchange for Francesco Coco who headed to Inter. Once again, the Nerazzurri got the worse end of the deal.
Coco would fail to play regularly due to a string of injuries that curtailed his time at the club. Seedorf, however, became a legend at Milan, winning ten trophies and becoming an essential part of their success under Carlo Ancelotti.
Winner: AC Milan
Chilean star Zamorano became a transfer target for many of Europe’s elite, having scored 28 goals to help Real lift the 1994/95 La Liga title. Inter, keen to sign the striker, offered up £1m plus Carlos, who was unhappy with manager Roy Hodgson at the time.
The Nerazzurri forward wasn’t a bad player at the San Siro, but his goalscoring rate began to decrease, as the likes of Ronaldo took his first-team spot. Los Blancos, on the other hand, were delighted to end up with the Brazilian legend Carlos, who ended up playing more than 500 games for the club and was a key part of the successful ‘Galacticos’ era.
Winner: Real Madrid
In high demand after impressing at Benfica, Chelsea acted swiftly to acquire Luiz, with then-reserve Mati? and £20m being enough to make the deal happen.
The Brazilian played 248 games for the Blues over two spells, while Mati? ended up impressing in Portugal, earning him a move back to Stamford Bridge three years after his departure. With the Blues getting the best of the duo on the pitch in England, they ultimately won the deal in the end.
In 2009, Inter, always looking to push the boundaries of player transfers, proceeded to sign Milito and Motta from Genoa, in exchange for a small fee, four players and co-ownership of another youngster.
The two Nerazzurri signings would prove to be instrumental for the club, particularly in the 2009/10 treble-winning season. As for the Genoa quintet, many of them were shipped off to other clubs, including a young Bonucci, who would soon end up at Juventus.
Remember when this was said to be a good deal for both teams? Seems like a long time ago now.
As Sánchez’s deal came close to expiring, the Gunners struck a deal with United to send the want-away Chilean north, with Mkhitaryan heading in the opposite direction. Yet neither side have emerged from the deal as the better side, given that both players are now on loan in Italy and don’t seem to have a future at either club.
Winner: Arsenal (for paying the lower wages)
A world-record transfer at the time, Inter signing Christian Vieri to partner Ronaldo was a sign of intent and promised a successful era at the San Siro.
But despite the Italian scoring 123 goals during his time at the Nerazzurri, it was only enough to win a single Coppa Italia trophy. Given that Simeone went on to win a league and cup double with the Biancocelesti, as well as the club pocketing a huge fee at the time for Vieri, Lazio were the winners of this swap deal.
Having won UEFA’s Club Footballer of the Year in 2004, Deco became a sought-after player for many European clubs. But it was the addition of Quaresma that swung the deal in favour of Barcelona, with Porto happy to obtain the services of the young Portuguese star.
Despite dazzling defences in Portugal for several seasons, Quaresma was unable to perform consistently for the Dragões. His compatriot however continued to shine on a bigger stage and helped the Blaugrana win five trophies, cementing his place as a modern midfield great.
A highly controversial deal at the time, both players were keen to leave their respective clubs and got their wish when the Gunners and Blues came together to agree the swap transfer.
While Gallas was a regular at the Emirates, his time was blemished with various incidents, such as sulking after defeat at Birmingham City. Cole, on the other hand, won nine trophies at Chelsea and was one of the first names on the teamsheet at Stamford Bridge.
Having decided that Eto’o wasn’t going to fit into his system, Pep Guardiola decided to exchange the striker, with cash (and Alexander Hleb until he refused the move) for Ibrahimovi? in 2009.
The mercurial Swede had a prolific first season at Camp Nou, but wasn’t willing to play out wide to accommodate Lionel Messi and left not long after. Meanwhile, Eto’o ended up having a fantastic two seasons in Italy, scoring 53 goals in just 102 games and leading the Nerazzurri to six trophies.
The 20/19/20 Premier League season continues to edge ever closer, but a number of hurdles must be overcome – as has been the case for a very long time now.
Teams are currently still in ‘phase one’, but teams will meet on Wednesday to vote on whether they would like to return to contact training in what would be the next step towards the resumption of the campaign.
Ahead of that, here is the latest on Project Restart this Tuesday…
A number of players and indeed members of staff at clubs have, understandably, voiced their concerns regarding Project Restart, and the speed at which decisions are being made. Teams will vote on Wednesday whether to return to contact training, and The Times report that players are ‘resigned’ to clubs giving the all-clear for contact training to resume.
This is despite the fact that a number of players still have major concerns. It is said that club captains and player representatives will discuss with Premier League officials the concerns of the players on Tuesday, and these concerns will try to be addressed.
The threat of the coronavirus to players from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds will also be raised. The deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association has claimed that there are ‘genuine concerns’ regarding the impact of COVID-19 on people from varying backgrounds.
It isn’t just players who have concerns, as some clubs feel that the timescale ‘may be too tight’ for all questions to be answered. One notable question clubs are asking is whether matches would be allowed to be postponed should ‘several’ first-team players need to isolate if they were to test positive for the virus.
Another major issue for both players and clubs is the current lack of clarity regarding self-isolation and contact training. If a player involved in contact training were to test positive, they would have to isolate, but it is currently unclear whether the rest of the squad would also have to isolate.
A meeting will also be held on Thursday to discuss when the season can resume (most likely to be 26 June), as well as a fixture schedule.
While The Times state that contact training could resume this week should clubs vote in favour of ‘phase two’ being implemented, The Mirror claim that it could begin as early as Thursday. And this is because of the assurances a large number of players have received from medical experts.
There was a key conference call last Friday which has given players the confidence that it can be safe to return to some form of normal training. Premier League officials were in the call, along with the PFA, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Watford’s Troy Deeney, Ian Wright and others. The risk of COVID-19 to BAME players was discussed, and it is said the meeting went ‘well’.
The fact that the Bundesliga in Germany is back underway is also said to have given players the reassurance they needed to believe the season can resume in England. This isn’t to say that there aren’t still many unanswered questions, however.
The Premier League wish to restart the campaign on 12 June, while players and clubs feel this is too soon and will look to push for a 26 June return. However, the Mirror note that a ‘fair compromise’ would be 19 June.
Sky Sports’ Geraint Hughes has revealed that the Premier League vote on Wednesday regarding ‘phase two’ will require at least 14 clubs to vote in favour for contact training to resume.
Elsewhere, Hughes also notes that should contact training be allowed, it will only initially start with players training in small groups of two or three, while they will also be allowed to share some equipment. However, over time, the group size will be increased from between four to 12 players, as the resumption of the season edges closer.
The coronavirus has had a major impact on every club in world football, but it is teams in lower divisions that continue to struggle most financially during this crisis. The Daily Mail now report that the EFL has formulated a plan to resolve the current issue of whether the 2019/20 season can be completed.
Clubs have been sent the plans, and have until Monday to provide feedback. The document states that the EFL campaign can be completed in two different ways. First would be to play the remaining games. But if this proves too challenging, the alternative would be an unweighted points-per-game scenario.
In the case of the latter, automatic promotion and relegation would apply, but the play-offs for the final space would still take place. Clubs will vote on Monday on whether to allow the required regulation changes in order for the EFL to implement the plans stated in their document. The Daily Mail note that, currently, the change is ‘likely’ to be approved.
Another vote will then follow on whether to finish the season or use the points-per-game method to decide each season. The majority of Championship clubs are said to be keen on completing the current campaign, but it is far from clear which way clubs in League One will vote.
As for League Two, most clubs wish to conclude the season immediately, meaning Crewe, Swindon and Plymouth will be promoted automatically, while Stevenage and Morecambe would be relegated. The Daily Mail add that due to this, the four teams in the play-off places will soon need to return to training, with the first leg of the semi-finals potentially taking place on 16 June. The final could be played on 30 June.
Chelsea are reported to be considering a move for Porto winger Jesús Corona if they miss out on Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho this summer.
Sancho is one of the most in-demand talents around, but his price tag of over £100m will prove problematic as clubs across Europe are still dealing with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea do still have money to spare, but it is Manchester United who are leading the race for Sancho’s signature. As a result, the Daily Star claim that Frank Lampard could turn to Corona as a cheaper alternative.
The 27-year-old, who can also fill in at right-back if needed, has managed two goals and 17 assists in all competitions this season, with Chelsea scouts believed to have highlighted his creativity to the powers that be at Stamford Bridge.
While he’s hardly the blockbuster signing which Chelsea fans would want, his price tag of around £26m makes him an intriguing option.
It’s no secret that Chelsea want to upgrade in a number of positions this summer. 90min understands the pre-coronavirus plan was to spend big on a striker and centre-back, so splashing out £26m on Corona would obviously leave funds available to pursue other targets.
With both Willian and Pedro potentially walking away from the Bridge when their contracts expire this summer, Lampard will likely need some more options out wide. He has already landed Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, but one man who won’t be joining him is former academy star Jeremie Boga.
The Ivorian has enjoyed a stunning season with Sassuolo, and given Chelsea have a buy-back clause of around £13m, he was touted as a likely option this summer, but The Guardian state that the Blues have declined such a move.
Instead, Chelsea are trying to swap this buy-back clause for a percentage of a future sale, with Boga still expected to seal a transfer this summer.
It’s an interesting strategy. Chelsea could just buy Boga back and flip him themselves for maximum profit, but they will instead leave Sassuolo to find a buyer and simply take a chunk of any money earned.
Talks between Chelsea and Juventus are ongoing over a proposed transfer for Jorginho, according to a report in Italy.
Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo had been heavily linked with a switch to the Italian giants in a potential swap deal for Miralem Pjanic. However, the 23-year-old has continually reiterated his desire to stay at Camp Nou this summer.
While Arthur’s reluctance to depart Barcelona has seen any proposed move to Juventus stutter, according to Italian news outlet Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), the club’s attention has turned to Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.
The report states that talks between the two clubs are ‘ongoing’. Chelsea have supposedly set a €35m (£31m) asking price for their player – despite his Stamford Bridge contract running until 2023 – which seems an unrealistically low sum.
The move, should it come to fruition, would see the midfielder reunite with former manager Maurizio Sarri.
The Juventus boss is a long term admirer of Jorginho, having managed the him for three years at Napoli, before immediately bringing him to Chelsea with him in 2018.
Jorginho’s agent Joao Santos has done nothing to play down these rumours, refusing to rule out a return to Italy for his client.
Speaking to Tuttomercatoweb, Santos said: “I don’t know whether Juve want Jorginho or not, as he has three years left on his Chelsea contract. We’ll see…
“He is a professional, so if an important club in Italy calls, then why not?”
However, when questioned on his client by 90min last month, Santos claimed that Jorginho’s ‘top priority remains Chelsea’ while adding that he has received offer from ‘two top clubs’.
The midfielder endured a tough start to life at Stamford Bridge following his £57m move from Serie A.
Jorginho was not an instant fan favourite and faced heavy criticism due to being synonymous with ‘Sarriball’ and forcing N’Golo Kante to be dislodged from his favoured holding midfield role.
He has enjoyed a more fruitful second season in London, chipping in with seven goals and two assists in 37 appearances in all competitions.