The major transfer window in the English Premier League season kicks off on the last day of the previous season and winds up on the last day of August as long as that day falls on midweek. You would think that two months will be more than enough time for all the clubs in the English Premier league to buy and sell or release all of the players that they will be requiring for the following season. This is never the case with all of the drama usually being reserved till the last minutes before the transfer deadline closes. Managers are never in favor of these situations and some costly mistakes have been made in the past, and will likely be made again.
So far, most of the English Premier League clubs have made some kind of sortie into the transfer market. However there is little doubt that the serious business is yet to be done. Here is the state of play so far:
Arsenal: Arsene Wenger has been trying desperately to hang on to his Dutch striker Robin van Persie, and although there has been a lot of speculation, no firm offers have yet to transpire. Juventus and both the Manchester clubs are reported to be interested. Meanwhile Wenger has already signed his replacement for Van Persie, in Lukas Podoloski of Cologne, who he signed for, £11million. Also joining the Gunner will be Olivier Giroud of Montpellier who cost £13million. So if and when Van Persie goes and Arsenal get the £30 million plus that they expect for the 27 year old Dutchman, Wenger will still have a few million to spend on these promising young players he is so expert in finding and developing.
Aston Villa: With Chris Lambert going into his first season as manager at the club, it is unlikely that Villa will be making any major moves in the transfer market, with the only possibility being mooted being Ipswich defender Aaron Cresswell coming in if way James Collins leaves the club, with both Sunderland and West Ham reported to be interested,
Chelsea: Roberto De Matteo has made a couple of signings so far with the biggest being In Eden Hazard from Lille who cost £32million with Marko Marin coming in from Werder Bremen for £7million. With a large war chest after winning the European Cup, De Matteo has more money to spend and is reported to be hot on the trail of 21-year-old Wigand Athletic winger Victor Moses as well as having a passing interest in Benfica midfielder Axel Wetzel. A few Chelsea icons left the club in the close season, most notably striker Didier Drogba as well as Salomon Alou and Jose Bossing
Everton: As ever David Mayes and Everton will be prudent in the transfer market with their biggest achievement so far being signing Steven Naismith from Glasgow (Rangers on a free and enticing Stephen Peniaar back from Spurs. Tim Newell was a close season departure who may well prove difficult to replace.
Fulham: At the West London club, there also seems like nothing much is doing, with ex Liverpool and current Hoffenheim winger Ryan Babel reportedly on Martin Jol’s radar. Jol has also sent out feelers to Chelsea to see if their £18m striker Romelu Lukaku could be available for a season-long loan. Lukaku is reported to be less than interested, feeling that his time for regular first team action at Stamford Bridge is now long overdue.
Liverpool: New manager Brendan Rodgers will have a lot to do to sort out the player balance at Anfield. There are a lot of players at the club who have been signed by his three predecessors, and some of them don’t fit the bill. Rodgers has been told that there will be some transfer funding available, but it would be preferable to sell some players first. The biggest fly in the ointment for Rodgers so far is Andy Carroll who has failed to settle at he club, and would like to return to Newcastle where he first sprang to fame. Newcastle would like to have him back, but at less than half of what they sold him less than two years ago. Definitely leaving the club are some Benitez signings, Dirk Kuyt, Fabio Aurelio and Maxi Rodriguez.
Manchester City: As ever City are reported interested in buying everybody. However reports have it that the Check book has been locked away till City sell off some of their vast range of hyper-talented players. Among those that could leave the club are Micah Richards, who has captured the attention of Mourinho at Real Madrid and the ever controversial Carlos Tevez who AC Milan have been trying to pick up for more than a season.
Manchester United: Sir Alex Ferguson, who was never afraid to break a transfer record in his time, has been increasingly canny over the last few seasons. Preferring to get his transfer business done early, Fernie has already signed the talented young striker Nick Powell from Crewe for just £4 million and midfielder Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund, for £17million. There are those that say that Kagawa was brought in to placate United’s massive support in the Far East, after selling talisman Ji Sung Park to QPR. The feeling is that Fergie still has at least two more players that he wants to sign, but the canny Scot will not pay over his valuation of the player.
Newcastle United: United had a first class season last year are pretty inactive with manager Alan Pardew satisfied by his squad. Obviously if they can get Andy Carroll back on their terms then they will welcome him back with open arms.
Norwich City: Norwich has a new manager in Chris Hughton who so far is being pretty tightlipped on his transfer intention. The solitary signing made so far is Steven Whittaker another refugee from recently liquidate Glasgow Rangers,
QPR: Manager Mark Hughes has always been very active in the transfer market with all his previous clubs and QPR is no exception. He is apparently interested in signing experienced players Andrey Arshavin of Arsenal and Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe. Also on the Hughes wish list is 19-year-old Inter Milan striker Luc Castaignos. Already in at QPR are : Park Ji-sung from (Manchester United), goalkeeper Robert Green from West Ham, veteran striker , Andrew Johnson from Fulham and one half of the Manchester United Brazilian twin set, Fabio who joins the club on loan
Reading: As new arrivals to the Premier League Reading will be calling it canny in this transfer window, signing only veteran players on free transfers till they get the lie of the land.
Southampton: Fall into more or less the same category.
Stoke City: Stoke who have succeeded in establishing themselves as a regular mid table side, seem to be short of prospects for players to sign in the close season. Stoke manager Tony Pulis has shown himself to be a shrewd cookie in the transfer market and may wait till the last few days before the window closes to pick up a bargain or two.
Sunderland: Martin O’Neil is also no slouch when it comes to spotting a bargain and he will also be waiting in the wings when the crunch comes. O’Neil has put in an offer for Wolves striker Steve Fletcher, however so far the deal is yet to be closed.
Swansea City: New manager Michael Laudrup will be reluctant to move into the transfer market this summer, and is expected to have his work cut out in hanging on to some of the talented young players that kept Swansea in the Premier League last season against all expectations.
Tottenham Hotspur: Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is one of the managers expected to make a move for Swansea’s talented midfielder Joe Allen. However his hands will be tied by the fact that they are still unsure of the future of their incumbent midfielder Luka Modric, who is wanted by Real Madrid, but not at the evaluation that Spurs have placed on the Croatian’s head. AVB has made a couple of shrewd signings in Jan Vertonghen from Ajax Amsterdam for £10m million and Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim for two million less.
West Bromwich Albion: The midlands club, who lost their manager Roy Hodgson to the England team manager job, gave replaced him with Steve Clarke in his first top managerial post. So far the transfer news from the club has been pretty thin.
West Ham United: Back in the Premier League, manager Sam Allardyce, another transfer market master is reported to interest in strengthening the Hammer’s defence and his practiced eye on Aston Villa’s James Collins and Sebastian Boenisch formerly of Werder Bremen. Allardyce reportedly made an offer to bring Liverpool striker Andy Carroll to the club on loan. However Carroll is adamant that he is only interested in a return to Newcastle United.
Wigan Athletic: Wigan manager Roberto Martinez who won a lot of praise in keeping Wigan in the Premier League last season looks likely Real Mallorca’s Ivan Ramis in the face of interest from Everton, Sunderland and Aston Villa for a fee of just over four million pounds.
That’s the current state of play in the English League Transfer market- but don’t forget there is still a month to go!