Manchester City seem to have today spared the embarrassment of legions of football journalists standing patiently outside football grounds all over the country waiting for something to happen, by announcing that Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola will be replacing Manuel Pellegrini in the summer.
Although journalists are usually prolific when it comes to picking a players name out of thin air, picking a value between twenty five million pounds and one hundred million pounds and then thinking long and hard about a club that may be in the market for a player or two, on transfer deadline day their sources and knowledge of imminent deals have to be slightly more genuine than usual. As in; not a load of bollocks like every other day of the year. “Lionel Messi is closer to leaving Barcelona these days than ever”, said Guillem Balague cryptically informing us that Leo Messi is never leaving Barcelona….I think!
On a day that has seen very little transfer activity, news outlets across the country have been struggling to scrape together any credible transfer stories and the go-to sources for football gossip – hairdressers, dog walkers and old drinking buddies of big name players – have even gone quiet it seems.
Transfer Deadline day is often billed as one of the most exciting days in the football calendar, where clubs open their cheque books and splash the cash and learn the same lesson as holidaymakers that wait until the very last minute to get a late deal only to find it is more expensive than doing your business early.
However, with only a handful of deals having been secured in England’s top flight, including Alex Pritchard (who?) moving from Tottenham to West Brom on loan and Seydou Doumbia (….errr?) signing for Newcastle from Roma – also on loan – there really is very little to get excited about….unless you’re connected with Manchester City.
Fortunately, the announcement of Pep Guardiola taking over at the Etihad next season has given the football public at least something to talk about, as the excitement surrounding transfer deadline day once again looks to rumble on without any of the intensity of previous years, that Sky Sports continue to cling to and force down the throats of football fans, fooling them into believing that although it is 10:59pm, their club is about to pull off something big.
With several hours to go (as I write this) before the window ‘slams’ shut, a couple of high profile moves could still be on the cards, but it is hard to see any of the big guns taking the plunge at this late stage of a day increasingly becoming a 24 hour window for selling clubs to exploit the desperation of clubs who have started their negotiations far too late.