Football’s transfer window shuts in leagues across Europe tonight as clubs scramble to get last-minute reinforcements. Thomas Woods looks at five of the big talking points of the past two months of transfer activity.
Will Arsenal spend a penny? Arsenal fans have had to watch North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur – their challengers for a Uefa Champions League spot – spend £110 million (Dh662.1m) on new talent while their own team have made two free transfer signings – Mathieu Flamini, above, and Yaya Sanogo. And the supporters are not happy about it.
What about Man United? A similar situation to Arsenal, except United’s fans have not been vocal in their dismay. David Moyes has yet to make a major signing as United manager and has had bids turned down everywhere. Cesc Fabregas, below, Thiago Alcantara, Marouane Fellaini, Daniele De Rossi, Angel Herrera ... does anybody want to play for the club?
Will French outlay pay off? Most of biggest business of the transfer window was done early by two clubs with deep pockets – Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco. Two of Europe’s best strikers moved to Ligue 1, when PSG signed Edinson Cavani, left, for £55m from Napoli and Monaco spent £53m on Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid. We will see if PSG can make an impression in the Uefa Champions League, while Monaco will aim to qualify.
Has club power returned? The 1995 Bosman Ruling, which gave players freedom of movement once their contract expired, placed power in the hands of players. But as Liverpool and Manchester United have stood their ground and not allowed Luis Suarez, below, and Wayne Rooney (both on lengthy contracts) to leave, players ca not have it all their own way.
Which big club will make a last-minute move? Most of Europe’s big guns seem happy. Real Madrid last night completed the transfer of Gareth Bale, above, from Tottenham, while Bayern, Napoli and Juventus all did business early on. AC Milan, who were waiting on Champions League qualification before spending, want to add. And club legend Kaka is available from Madrid.