Many fans are disenchanted with the summer transfer window. Despite the best efforts of Sky Sports News and Jim While to make it seem eventful, for many it’s actually quite tedious. Above all, there is the dross printed in tabloids and rumour websites. You know the type of headlines: “EXCLUSIVE: Messi has stopped following Barcelona on Instagram as agent arrives in Exeter Airport.”
In saying that, this summer feels like a watershed moment for several of the biggest clubs in Europe, with several looking to rebuild. This can have a knock-on effect to other clubs who want to keep up or create new ambitions among smaller clubs suddenly flush with cash. We are not going to speculate on transfer rumours here, but we are going to look at the clubs who are almost certain to splash out.
Madrid have made some shrewd moves
Starting out with Real Madrid, who have been super quick in addressing the issues at Santiago Bernabéu. Eden Hazard has agreed terms over a transfer of €100 million (£87 million), and the Belgian will arrive in Madrid to see new faces like Éder Militão and Luka Jovic waiting for him. The pair cost a combined £100 million, arriving from Porto and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively. Online betting sites have yet to react to Hazard’s imminent arrival, but you should expect some movement on Madrid’s current odds of 8/1 (888sport) to win the Champions League.
Bayern Munich have basically had an astute tactic of pillaging other Bundesliga clubs for their best players over the last decade. But it almost didn’t work last season, albeit they did trundle their way to the title. The Methuselah-like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have said goodbye to Bavaria, but Lucas Hernandez has come in for a whopping £68 million from Atlético Madrid. Like Real Madrid, you should expect Bayern’s Champions League odds of 11/1 to drop considerably should more stellar signings arrive.
PSG project looks a little shaky
Paris Saint Germain are set to have an interesting summer. Who knows what to make of the rumours that both Kylian Mbappé and Neymar are unhappy at the club? They don’t need much in the way of recruits if they are to win Ligue 1 again, but it is the Champions League (current odds of 15/2) is what the owners really want. Any transfer business must also take in the spectre of UEFA’s financial fair play rules. PSG have usually just shrugged it off, but there is always the chance that UEFA might finally get tough with the French side.
Juventus, too, don’t need a lot to be confirmed as Serie A’s top dogs again next year. To be fair, they have been vocal about financial restraints this summer, and plenty of the rumours have involved ideas of player exchanges. A reboot of the midfield might be in order, but there isn’t much in the way of value in the market. Unless something drastic happens, expect Juventus to stay relatively still.
Finally, the club with the biggest rebuild required – Manchester United. If you ask fans, they effectively need a brand new starting XI, with even David de Gea not immune from criticism. What will they get? Who knows? The club’s management structure is a complete mess at the moment, so expect plenty of disappointment and perhaps a couple of underwhelming signings on Deadline Day.