The January transfer window opened on Saturday for clubs in England, Scotland, Germany and France with expectations of a high spending round dependent on early sales to set the merry-go-round in motion.
Transfer windows open today in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, with Turkey following tomorrow and Ireland on Thursday. Switzerland’s window doesn’t open until the 16th, Poland’s on the 18th and Romania’s not until the 26th.
Premier League clubs have until 11pm on February 1st to complete their transactions, but high spending by the title (and Champions League) contenders, fueled by massive TV revenues and particularly poor first halves to the season from Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool, will be the determining factor in whether the total spent by Premier League clubs matches the £130m recorded in the past two seasons or reaches the record £225m spent in 2011.
Whilst Aston Villa may decide to accept their fate and plan for a season in the Championship, other teams in trouble such as Newcastle have money available and could also offload unwanted players to increase their transfer kitty.
Another factor pushing transfer totals up will be Michel Platini’s decision in June 2015 to loosen up Financial Fair Play regulations, following the success of FFP in slashing club losses. Clubs are now much freer to spend big again, as long as they can present an “affordable business model.”
Although January transfer window transfers are generally something of a gamble, with players having little time to adjust and make a significant impact on their team’s performance, a lot of the richer clubs are looking to strengthen their squads and will be competing with one another, potentially sending prices very high, particularly for established strikers.
So far Mohamed Elneny looks likely to move to Arsenal for £7.3m from Basel, despite Egypt’s poor international ranking causing immigration problems. Players who have been reported as possibly moving shortly for high prices include Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Udinese’s young Venezuelan Adalberto Penaranda who has clearly fully recovered from receiving a bullet wound to his thigh at a party.
Players who will be difficult to prise away from their current clubs but who could command very high prices include Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and PSG’s Edinson Cavani.
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