Transfer news: Late flurry of signings lights up deadline day
Transfer news: Late flurry of signings lights up deadline day
Everton, Fulham and Leicester all made big-money signings as the earliest transfer deadline day in Premier League history came to life late in the day.
But Tottenham – who did not make a signing all summer – and Manchester United failed to bring in any players before the window shut.
The deadline was moved from 31 August to the day before the Premier League season starts after a vote by clubs.
Yerry Mina’s £27m move to Everton from Barcelona was the day’s big move.
The deadline also applied to English Football League clubs – although they can still sign free agents and loan players until 31 August.
However, it was only introduced in England – with Spanish, German, French and Scottish clubs able to sign players until the end of the month.
Italy has introduced a deadline of Friday, 17 August – the day before Serie A starts.
Players could still leave the Premier League – with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard a reported target for Spanish giants Real Madrid, although the Blues would then not be able to sign a replacement.
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The story of transfer deadline day
As well as the earlier-than-usual date, the deadline also closed earlier in the day – 17:00 BST compared to the usual 23:00.
It looked as if this was going to be the quietest deadline day since the window was introduced in 2003 – with only eight signings confirmed by Premier League clubs before 17:00.
The highest-profile deal at that stage was midfielder Mateo Kovacic joining Chelsea on loan from Real Madrid – with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois going the other way permanently.
But clubs had another two hours after the deadline to finalise paperwork – during which Everton signed Colombia defender Mina and midfielder Andre Gomes on loan from Barcelona – having signed free agent Bernard earlier in the day.
Fulham announced five players, all after the deadline – Marseille midfielder Andre-Frank Anguissa in a £22.3m deal, Bristol City left-back Joe Bryan for £6m and Sergio Rico, Luciano Vietto and Timothy Fosu-Mensah on loan.
And Leicester City confirmed the signing of Freiburg and Turkey defender Caglar Soyuncu, in a deal thought to be worth up to £19m, after the deadline. Earlier on, they had bought defender Filip Benkovic from Dinamo Zagreb for a reported £13m.
The losers of deadline day?
Six clubs did not sign anybody on deadline day.
Tottenham are reported to be the first Premier League club to not sign a single player in a summer transfer window, although boss Mauricio Pochettino said he was not disappointed, with only two youngsters leaving the club.
“It’s difficult to understand for people that Tottenham didn’t sign or sell a player, but sometimes in football you need to behave differently and we’re happy with our squad,” he said.
“If we cannot improve our squad it’s better to keep it together.”
Manchester United only signed three players all summer – all by early July. But they did also try to sign a centre-back and manager Jose Mourinho said on Sunday they faced a “difficult season” if they could not sign anyone else.
They had been linked with Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld, Leicester’s Harry Maguire and Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng over the summer.
And the Red Devils made a dramatic late approach for Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin – but he is now expected to sign a new deal with the Spanish club.
Arsenal and Liverpool were among the other clubs not to sign anybody on Thursday – but they were not expected to, having each made several signings earlier this summer.
How does it compare to other deadline days and transfer windows?
Those late deals took deadline day above last year’s total of 17 transfers but the total amount of transfers in the window fell for the fifth year in a row.
Until the late rush, it had appeared it was going to the the quietest summer deadline day in Premier League history.
Football finance expert Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University said: “Clubs invested heavily last year when we saw almost £1.5bn being spent. Without a new TV deal that increases the amount of cash available, this window was always due to plateau.
“That, plus excessive fees being quoted, has probably restricted what some clubs are prepared to pay. Manchester United for example have spent much more modestly and would normally contribute to the overall total. I suspect that is due to clubs increasing their prices as the world’s richest club came knocking and United simply refused to be held to ransom.”
Wilson thinks Neymar’s £200m world record move from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain last summer helped change the transfer market.
“It does seem to have shifted the market up, especially after Philippe Coutinho moved for £140m+ from Liverpool to Barcelona. It’s meant fees in general have essentially doubled from what would have been expected before the last TV deal. It’s indicative of fewer signings but higher fees too.”
The rise in prices is backed up by the transfer fees previously paid for this summer’s top 10 Premier League signings, with none of them costing more than £13m when they were last signed.
Why was the deadline earlier this season?
Premier League clubs voted in September to have an earlier deadline this year – and the Football League followed in February.
Managers have complained that signing players once the season is under way causes disruption to their squads and preparations.
But Spurs boss Pochettino, speaking last month, said: “If you compare with Europe I think you are at a complete disadvantage and I’m sure it does not help the clubs in the Premier League.
“We are all in the same situation in England. I don’t know if the rest of the teams are happy with that decision – personally I think it’s not right.”
However, his side were one of the 14 Premier League clubs last season to vote in favour of the change. Manchester United were one of five teams to vote against it.
The other clubs to vote against the change were Manchester City, Watford, Swansea and Crystal Palace – while Burnley abstained.
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August 9, 2018 at 01:06PM