SportsProf

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The January Transfer Period in International Soccer

is like one big gossip column . . . in middle school.  Who is texting who, looking at whom, wants to be looked at, but no one actually comes to the middle of the dance floor.  Yes, there were a few transfers, but when you put then as the numerator atop a massive amount of speculation in the denominator, you realize what a waste of energy it is for fans to believe anything they read in the sports columns let alone read them in the first place.

The truth is that it is very hard to pry a star at a reasonable price mid-year.  First, if he's that good, his team probably needs him, so unless that team has a very deep roster at its position, it will be hurting itself.  An exception, of course, is if the selling team has significant enough money problems that it needs to make the sale to stay afloat or pay other players.  Second, if he's that good, the team will probably jack up the price because usually the suitors need "just another piece" either to win their league, qualify for Champions' League or, horrors, avoid relegation.  And, if the sellers can get teams to bid on the player, the price really will go up.  Third, there is the variable that the player's contract is expiring and that he will not sign a new deal.  Then, the sellers might settle for a reasonable price in order to avoid the player's departure without compensation after the season concludes.

There was lots to read, but very little action.  Naturally, once the season concludes, the top clubs will be off trying to improve their lots in any way possible.  That is, of course, if they can get people's attention given that Euro 2016 will be in force this summer.

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