Podcast 25: The Transfer Window

Kaka to Man City? Beckham to AC Milan? The transfer window has been full of rumours and gossip. On this week’s show we take a look at some of the main transfer stories that have made the headlines over the past three weeks. We also …

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With only a couple of days to go before the end of this winter’s transfer window, the one-month period when teams can buy and sell players, we thought we’d review some of the main stories that have made the headlines over the past three weeks.

After next Tuesday, clubs will not be allowed to buy new players or bring in someone on loan until July 1st which many claim is an artificial way of controlling market forces. Other groups who disagree with the transfer system include many Premiership managers who see it as something that unsettles players, disrupts their plans and as generally being unfair. On the other hand, football agents love this time of year as they know that they can earn large amounts of cash through the wheeling and dealing that goes on, while the fans also love the transfer window as it is a time of hope – your club may buy that striker you are looking for or sell the dodgy keeper you have had for too long. In addition, the media fuel the whole process with rumours appearing every day as to which players are moving to which clubs.

So, who has gone where?

Well, there has not been much activity actually. The top teams in England have bought 2 players between them: young Serbian winger Tosic has gone to Manchester United while Emile Heskey has moved to Aston Villa. This is similar with the big clubs in other European countries with only Real Madrid bringing in new players: Huntelaar from Ajax and Lassana Diarra from Portsmouth for a combined total of £40 million. Most of the movement of players takes place among teams that are struggling to survive – panic buying if you will – as they gamble on staying in the lucrative top division. So, Tottenham have signed three players, as have Portsmouth and Hull City while West Brom, Newcastle and Bolton have also been busy in the transfer market.

But perhaps the two biggest stories so far have involved players not moving from their clubs. David Beckham is currently playing for AC Milan but is on loan from LA Galaxy. Rumours are rife that he may make a permanent move to the Italian giants though the MLS club are flatly denying the possibility. But even Becks has been overshadowed by the proposed move of Brazilian star Kaka from AC Milan to the wealthiest club in the world Manchester City. For a week, this incredible transfer story dominated the UK press until the player turned down the chance of earning a world record salary and the possibility of playing in a relegation battle with City.

Kaka is not moving anywhere this time but no doubt frightened club chairmen and managers will ensure that many others will do over the next couple of days.

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