There was a time when a transfer between two clubs was a simple and straight forward process. The buying club would make an offer for a player and the selling club would accept or reject said offer. Times have certainly changed.
It can be argued that there are more protracted transfers now than ever before.
A case in point is arguably that of former Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph. After much speculation regarding his future and being linked with many clubs in the January 2015 transfer window, the England international signed a new five-year-deal to stay with the Midland’s club, professing both his love for the team and pride to have been named captain.
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Six months later, Aston Villa accepted an £8 million offer from Manchester City for his transfer. After all formalities were completed, Delph rejected the move, citing (once again) his love for the Villa. Yet within nine days he was a Manchester City player.
It can be argued that, whilst it is a possible career advancement for Delph, the whole situation could have been conducted more smoothly. As we are now witnessing, this was just one of a string of protracted transfers of 2015.
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Raheem Sterling’s summer move from Liverpool to Manchester City too gained considerable media coverage; as did the transfer of Pedro from Barcelona to Chelsea.
The latest headline making transfer is that of John Stones protracted move from Everton to Chelsea. It has been much discussed, not least due to the somewhat excessive fee upwards of £30 million. Not long ago, this transfer would have been completed within a week, this particular transfer has made little significant progress in 3.
Similarly, Tottenham Hotspur's pursuit of WBA striker Saido Berahino has also been one of the most recent talking points during the current transfer window. WBA have rejected two significant bids, and a stalemate is in place.
The summer transfer window has, perhaps expectantly, seen many players join new clubs, none more so than in the Premier League. To date, Manchester United have spent approximately £80 million on new recruits, Arsenal £10 million, Chelsea £30 million and Manchester City £71 million. All four clubs have spent more than the rest of the 16 Premier League clubs combined.
Evidently, transfer windows mean big business and big talking points, but is it now time for clubs to conduct themselves with more decorum?
Transfers surely need to be managed carefully and professionally, as they were in a simpler era.
Times may have changed, but some things would perhaps be better staying the same.