Between the end of the Premier League season and the beginning of the next, the tabloids and online sites are full of gossip and speculation, usually about a superstar footballer on holiday in his short shorts or, more often than not, which player is expected to leave a club for another.
It’s become the staple of the off-season; clubs end the season and set out a list of targets and speculation rages. This summer has seen several transfer stories, some new, others old but it’s the same story every year: x player wants to go here; y club doesn’t want that player to leave. However this summer has been notable for just how much smoke has been made with very little fire.
The never-ending transfer stories of Wesley Sneijder, Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri, Luka Modric…
The never-ending transfer stories of Wesley Sneijder, Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri, Luka Modric, Sergio Aguero, Neymar and Cesc Fábregas have reared their heads and led the way in terms of the major, “breaking stories”. Only one of the listed players has handed in a transfer request (Modric), which is likely to be rejected with Tottenham Hotspur determined to hang on to a pivotal player.
Perhaps the most disturbing story of the summer has been the Fábregas “will he, won’t he?” debate that has dominated not just this summer but the summers of last year and the year before. FC Barcelona come in with a bid and Arsenal knock it back like a game of ping-pong. Various Barcelona players have made clear their feelings on the matter, notably midfielder Xavi Hernandez provoking an angry response from Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger. Even the mayor of the town Fábregas lived in has called on Arsenal to end this “kidnapping”. It’s all turned rather sour.
…the relationship between Luka Modric and the Tottenham Board seems to have disintegrated…
In much the same manner the relationship between Luka Modric and the Tottenham Board seems to have disintegrated with Chelsea tabling two bids (£22, and £27 million). Tottenham are looking increasingly successful in retaining Modric’s services but with each rejected bid Modric is looking increasingly dejected, a player under the impression that a gentleman’s agreement between he and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has been broken and the club have gone back on their word.
Sir Alex Ferguson has quickly rebuffed any ideas of signing Dutch international Sneijder (‘not of real interest’, he said, as if Sneijder was a police suspect), Samir Nasri is willing to see out the last year of his contract rather than ask for a transfer. Yet these stories will continue until the transfer window slams shut in late August. Ferguson’s denial didn’t silence the tabloids who predicted that Sneijder would have been a Manchester United player as of last Wednesday, comedically retreating with tails between legs saying ‘it’ll happen, just not now’.
…the amount of purported scoops, denials and misinformation makes it hard to discern what the real story is…
These stories are a problem because the amount of purported scoops, denials and misinformation makes it hard to discern what the real story is. However you can bet that it’ll rage on for the rest of the summer and most probably start again next summer.
Images courtesy of Wesley Sneijder and Luka Modric