Upon the official re-opening of the ill-famed January transfer window, the rumour mill is well and truly in full tilt, spouting everything from the plausible right up to the nonsensical.
As is the customary cause of action at this time of year, managers will indubitably open their cheque-books as they seek to rebuild, reinforce and rejuvenate their teams with new faces.
However, this one January in particular, club managers must exercise Wenger-esque financial control and refrain from parting ways with significant sums of cash in exchange for a player's services.
Notorious for its propensity for laying claim to superfluous exorbitant transfer fees (see January 2011) coupled with internal mid-season dissension, there is very little value to be found in January's edition of football's transfer window system.
Ex-Reading manager Steve Coppell launched a scathing attack on the present system in January 2008, citing the constant harassment and unsettling of players as reason to scrap the system.
"I cannot see the logic in a transfer window," Coppell declared.
"It brings on a fire-sale mentality, causes unrest via the media and means clubs buy too many players."
Arsene Wenger is another notable detractor of the January transfer window, indicating a lack of justice to the league as a ruinous flaw.
"It is unfair some teams have played, for example, Newcastle already and then some still have to face a side with six or eight new players," said Wenger.
"I think it should be completely cut out or limited to two players."
But I disgress.
Big-money moves in mid-season very rarely produce the expected results. Chelsea and Liverpool can personally attest to the claim, having shelled out in excess of £80million to bring Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll to their respective clubs.
The Carroll-Torres case is particularly intriguing for it is a clear warning of the fatal domino effect that left Liverpool as major casualties of the January frenzy.
Only four days off transfer deadline day Liverpool accepted a £50million bid for Torres from Chelsea, a British transfer record. Thrown into the hysteria of losing a star striker, Kenny Dalglish hurriedly splashed £35million at Newcastle striker Andy Carroll to compensate for the loss of El Nino.
And so, Liverpool were saddled with record-breaking baggage for over two years before offloading the struggling Englishman to West Ham. That Liverpool almost recouped half of what they initially paid Newcastle is an achievement in itself.
Chelsea are repeat casualties of January 2011, having signed David Luiz on transfer deadline day. This is hardly a slight on the player himself, who may very well become a great defender for Chelsea. Nonetheless, not only did Chelsea hand Benfica £21.3million (via ESPN) for Luiz's services, but crucially, they threw in Nemanja Matic as a gratuitous makeweight.
Matic has blossomed into one of Europe's most precocious young midfielders, with a value of £23million by Transfermarkt. Add that to Luiz's cash value of over £21million and that is Radamel Falcao-style money for an unorthodox defender with very little positional sense - a categorical and unequivocal disaster of a transfer deal.
The unavoidable fact is, for every Vidic, Evra and Suarez, there will be an accompanying Torres, Carroll, Samba, Alves and Keane.
This January, however, also happens to fall on a World Cup year.
Very few players will be willing to risk a post-transfer blip in form and jeopardise their chances of boarding the plane to Brazil.
Case in point: Diego Costa. What makes Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund - both of whom are linked with Costa - think that Costa would imperil his chances with the Spanish national team by departing a side well-poised to break La Liga's duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid, a side with which he's netted 19 goals this season?
Will Reus depart the confinements of Westfalenstadion to join a struggling Manchester United in a World Cup year? There is no logical reasoning to such a move on Dortmund and Reus' part.
A mid-season bid combined with players unwilling to change scenery prior to the World Cup spells a recipe for financial disaster. Slight necessary reinforcements aside, football managers across Europe would do well to abstain from making considerable splashes this January.
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