While clearly not the most profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shifting landscapes of football finances could spell an end to something we’ve become so accustomed to, with huge summer transfers likely to be less frequent than usual in the coming months.
In recent seasons, European super-clubs have been able to spend freely on players in their peak years with minimal resale value. The likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez, Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez have all made big moves either close to or in their 30s and, occasionally, it’s paid off.
However, many of those clubs, particularly outside the Premier League, are now in a dire financial situation across making it far less likely that we will see those kinds of deals again in the short term, with clubs simply not able to spend tens of millions on older players who they will never see a return on.
With the likes of Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Joao Felix, Jadon Sancho and Ansu Fati emerging as part of the new breed of stars, after a period dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, attention must be turned to them.
Given the impact on spending powers after playing in front of stadiums, a number of household names are likely to miss out on big transfers they might have usually made. So here are the five stars who are unlikely to get summer transfers due to the ongoing financial crisis in football.
Five stars priced out of summer transfers
Undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world, the fact Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy has reportedly slapped a £150m price tag on the England captain surely limits his chances of leaving.
With no obvious landing spot apparent at the moment and the fact that Kane, despite having a tremendous season, does frequently get injured, it’s almost impossible to see anyone spending that sort of money with the likes of Haaland on the market and far more likely to be in the summer plans for clubs able to commit to huge transfers.
While Ole Gunnar Solksjaer seems to have brought the Paul Pogba saga back under control after the Frenchman seemed to be at all-out war with Jose Mourinho during the latter stages of his reign at Old Trafford, he has been batting his eyelashes at Real Madrid for a while now.
Still, while his situation might be slightly different given his contract is up next season, the wages required to sign Pogba may be better spent on younger players.
Recency bias may stop fans on these shores from valuing Mo Salah as one of the greatest ever foreign imports but, when the dust has settled on his Liverpool career, the Egyptian King will surely join the likes of Thierry Henry and Sergio Aguero on that level.
Controversial? Yes but, having regularly featured in the leading goalscorer charts since joining, Salah has been a wonderful addition. But, when will the end come?
He’s another to have suggested a move to Spain would interest him but neither Madrid or Barcelona look capable of raising the sort of capital he would command. Speaking of prolific forwards unlikely to get the summer transfers that they crave…
Though it’s not necessarily Griezmann’s fault that it hasn’t worked out for him at the Camp Nou given it seemed like a very strange signing in the first place, it’s hard to see a way in which Barcelona move him on from here.
Undoubtedly an elite level player, the fact he still has three years left on his deal puts his price up to a level few teams can match in this current market.
For now, it seems like their rather unhappy marriage will continue with any potential summers transfers looking a long way away, unless Joan Laporta makes good on his pledge to slash the Frenchman’s asking price.
Kevin De Bruyne
Much like Chelsea before the Hazard departure, we’ve not seen a player at the peak of their powers leave Manchester City due to their financial resource.
Still, in years gone by, it wouldn’t have been hard to imagine one of the big two in Spain look to lure him to La Liga. If Madrid can get their hands on Cristiano Ronaldo, anything can happen, after all.
While there’s no suggestion de Bruyne would look to leave City, there are no realistic options for him to do so anyway at this stage of his career.
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