It is July again; a summer of international football, the Olympics and a summer transfer news frenzy. Football fans worldwide are probably glued to their screens, as you are now – reading the latest updates about club signings and possible rule changes. Already we have seen a couple of marquee happenings, some pleasing and others shocking. Regardless of what team you support, the transfer market news in the pre-season is a big ocean of interesting findings.
Club recruitment occurs in primarily two ways, paying a transfer fee or signing a free agent. Asides from academy recruitment, the major source of first-team players for domestic leagues is paid transfers. It is relatively expensive, costing anywhere between eight to nine-figure digits on the cheque.
A free agent is a footballer who is out of contract and available to sign (on-a-free) without the payment of compensation. Players become free agents by refusing to sign a new one when it expires (also known as seeing out their contracts). The calibre of players available as free agents changes annually, making the market endearing to fans and lovers of the game.
Free-agent signings occur mostly in the summer transfer window, while paid transfers occur in winter and summer windows. This is because player contracts are usually signed on ‘end-of-season deals. Football clubs love signing free agents, as it’s always a cheap bargain. You don’t have to worry about transfer fees, and wage negotiation is usually flexible.
Our mission today is to highlight the biggest happenings in 2023’s transfer market. The author, Mightytips’ Kate Richardson, whose profile is available here, drives us through the loop of recent transfer market news.
Biggest News of the Summer Transfer Window
Regardless of what team you support, the transfer window is always busy as clubs look to sell and buy footballers. Mightytips takes a look at some of the latest developments in the 2023 summer transfer window.
- Lionel Messi
Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, the Argentine’s is out of contract this summer. While Barcelona President Laporta has mentioned the club’s willingness to keep him, negotiations are far from over. Even at 34, Messi remains one of the game’s best, and any team who signs him on a free has scored a bargain.
As usual, Paris Saint Germain and Man City will be lurking around, but Barca will hope to settle the situation soon. Lionel Messi’s contract expired on June 30, making him a free agent from July 1. “We want him to stay, and Leo wants to stay; everything is going well,” said Joan Laporta, Barca’s President. It will be recalled that Messi requested a transfer last summer, but his deal was still on.
- Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid’s long-serving defender Sergio Ramos will leave the club this summer after running down his contract. The Spanish center-back had become synonymous with Madrid’s backline over the sixteen years he played for them. Now 35 years old, the club legend will have to find a new home.
Though Ramos wished to stay for two more seasons, Madrid only offered a one year deal. However, the offer lapsed before Ramos communicated another. Reports now suggest the former Spanish captain will be moving to PSG. Two weeks ago, Ramos broke into tears at his farewell ceremony while addressing the club he captained for six years.
- Gianluigi Donnarumma
While it is quite normal for outfield players to break into the first team as teenagers, it is often harder for goalkeepers. Even where they are tall and talented enough, older goalkeepers are picked over them on the grounds of experience. An exception to this rule is Italy’s Donnarumma. The 22-year-old keeper made his debut for AC Milan at seventeen, making the position his over the past five years.
The 6ft 4inch keeper has a potential that is just as wide as his reach. Donnaruma became a free agent on July 1, and PSG is once again lurking around the corner. It will be interesting to see how other top clubs react to the enticing free-agent market this summer.
- Jadon Sancho
This is probably the most searched name on the phones of Manchester United fans. After almost an entire year of back and forth, United and Dortmund announced this week that an agreement had been reached for Sancho. The transfer fee is reported to be around £73 million, a tad less than the £105 million valuations from last season. The agreement is subject to a medical, which will take place after the European Championship.
Jadon Sancho found the net 50 times in 137 appearances for Dortmund, and he’s regarded as one of the best talents for his age. The former Man City player who left for Dortmund to play more games will now head back to Manchester to feature for their rivals. Manchester City will take some solace in the sell-on clause for Sancho, which fetches them about £13 million.
Dortmund has developed a huge reputation in the transfer market in recent years. The Bavarians have an incredible scouting network, getting players at knock-down fees only to sell them at a higher price later. Interestingly, the German side got Sancho, Aubameyang, Dembele, and Pulisic for a combined £32 million.
On the flip side, they have made a revenue of £309 million from the sale of these players. Though fans may condemn this attitude, it has brought the club success and the opportunity to be self-sufficient. The club has also competed well for the league and DFB Pokal in recent years.
The summer transfer window is still open for a month, giving premier league clubs enough time to inject their squads with fresh talent. Are you pleased with your club’s transfer dealings so far? What player transfers are you hoping to materialize? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box, and engage other fans on this page.