Following the collapse of the European Super League, the majority of the initial 12 founder clubs are inevitably going struggle financially due to their plans falling through, which would’ve seen some clubs earn up to £350m just for signing up to the Super League.
Transfers We Don't Expect To Happen After The ESL Collapse
Transfers we Don't Expect to Happen After the ESL Collapse
Lionel Messi to Manchester City
Lionel Messi is the first player on this list to be involved in transfers we don’t expect to happen following the collapse of the ESL.
The Argentinian may be available on a free transfer come the end of his contract this summer, but, due to his astronomical wages, which are rumoured to reach €72m a year, this transfer now looks unfeasible, as despite the Citizens having limitless amounts of money, they will likely spend that sort of money on someone who will have an impact in the long term future.
Jadon Sancho to Manchester United
Next up is Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund. The 21-year-old has been persistently linked with a move to Old Trafford since the start of last summer, which saw the Red Devils fail to meet the asking price of the German club which was rumoured to be £110m.
Following the collapse of the Super League which was set to earn Manchester United a guaranteed £350m and even rose their share prices on the New York Stock Exchange, meaning the club was valued at £150m more than what it is currently worth.
Dortmund were expected to ask for a similar price to that of last summer, as the current financial climate has also took its toll on the German club, however, with the Glazer family set to lose out on the extra cash flow, they may, unfortunately, look to take it out on the fans for their protests.
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe
Neymar and kylian Mbappe both look set to stay at French champions Paris Saint-Germain, with their Qatari owners denying that they will be leaving the club. The president of PSG Nasser Al-Khelaifi said in the midst of uncertainty about the Super League:
We have invested a lot in the club to win the Champions League and all the trophies available…Neymar and Kylian have no reason to leave. We really have everything to win every competition. ... We need to continue, to remain calm because the Champions League isn't finished”.
In the current financial climate, it looks unfeasible that anyone would pay near the £170m and £198m that Mbappe and Neymar cost the French club in the summer of 2017, meaning that they could stay put in Paris and potentially sign new long-term contracts.
Erling Haaland to Manchester City
Regardless of the situation with the Super League, this summer was always going to be a difficult one to purchase Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, due to the Bundesliga outfit's rumoured asking price of £155m. This may seem a fair price to some in the modern market, however, it must be noted that the 20-year-old has a release clause of £68m next summer, so it begs the question, who would pay well over the odds to get the Norwegian 12 months in advance?
City aren’t typically known for extortionate transfer fees, instead, they buy in masses each summer, as they did before the start of the 2017/18 season, purchasing the likes of Ederson, Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and more. Their record currently stands at Ruben Dias for just shy of £65m from Benfica, which coincided with the sale of Nicolas Otamendi to the Portuguese outfit for £13.6m at the same time.
With clubs significantly down on their revenue due to having no fans in their stadiums, and no extra cash injections into clubs, it would be unlikely to see a signing of such magnitude happen this time around.
Ibrahima Konate to Liverpool
RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate has been heavily linked with a £40m move to Liverpool from the Bundesliga club in recent weeks, with the Frenchman having a clause in his contract which will allow him to depart the German club for the quoted price.
However, with Fenway Sports Group seen as one of the main protagonists in the European Super League due to it’s American style and involvement with U.S bank JP Morgan, they may use this as an excuse not to invest on the French centre-back. Having claimed to be financially cash strapped at times last summer, as well as the potential of not getting into the Champions League this season, the Anfield club may be forced to utilise Ben Davies alongside their current crop of returning centre-back in Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
Pau Torres to Real Madrid
Pau Torres has been linked to Real Madrid on numerous occasions of late and with club president Florentino Perez claiming that the ESL would save football due to the major cash injection it was set to bring into clubs like his own in Los Blanco.
It would be highly unlikely that the move for Torres from Villarreal would happen, as they are expected to ask for the Spanish international’s release clause price of €65m, especially when the Madrid club have run up a debt of €692m.
Raphael Varane to Chelsea/Manchester United
Due to the above reasoning, Real could be set to do everything in their powers to keep French World Cup winner Raphael Varane, to avoid paying a huge fee to replace the 27-year-old, as his contract expires in just over 12 months’ time. When considering the fact that club captain Sergio Ramos’ contract is set to expire in the summer this makes the departure of Varane even more unlikely.
With the Glazer family potentially unwilling to do any major transfer business this summer and Chelsea currently in £1.5bn debt, this one could be off the cards.
Paul Pogba’s position is a carbon copy of Varane’s situation. The 28-year-old has just over 12 months left on his deal at Old Trafford and with clubs such as Real and Juventus looking to be in financial turmoil, this could ultimately see the French midfielder be embroiled in a tug of war about a potential free transfer in the summer of 2022, or signing a new contract at United, which is what manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping to see as he is integral to his first-team plans.
The final player on this list is Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish. The 25-year-old England international signed a new contract with the Villains back in September last year, following a failed move by the likes of United. A crucial detail that could see Dean Smith’s side keep their captain is the release clause which is rumoured to be around £80m.
It was a shock to see the Birmingham born midfielder sign a new long-term contract at Villa Park due to the heavy interest from a number of major European sides and following the lack of money in the current economic climate as well as the collapse of the ESL, a move for the England midfielder now looks unlikely for any club.
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