This summer we've already seen some major trades at a number of big clubs but some of the biggest deals have yet to be made. Where will Arsenal's now discount priced Emmanuel Adebayor end up? Will Zenith St Petersburg's Russian phenom Andrei Arshavin be sold or is he about to be priced out of the market? Will Cristiano Ronaldo go to Real Madrid or stay at Manchester United? What about Chelseas's bid for AC Milan's Kaka? First, let's take a look at the top five spenders so far this year:
1. FC Barcelona €77.5 million
2. Fiorentina €50.3 million
3. Olympique Lyon €45.200.000
4. Tottenham Hotspur €39 million
5. Liverpool €32.1 million
When you consider the huge sums which have been discussed for Kaka (€94 million), Ronaldo (€100 million), and Liverpool's Fernando Torres (€65 million) - you'll know immediately that the transfer season is just getting started. You'll also note that you don't see Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, or Inter Milan on this list (to name a few). My experience tells me that Fiorentina, Lyon, and Tottenham are pretty much set while Barcelona and Liverpool may still pick up a player or two. The truly big spenders this year have yet to draw from their war chest so you can expect this list to change. There are still quite a few top players up for grabs and plenty of deep pocketed teams available to bid for them.
Another point to consider is that not all transfer deadlines are created equal. The French League, which does not have the financial bidding power of some others, ends its transfer period on August 17th. So, if Americans Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Oguchi Onyewu, or any other players are headed for Ligue 1, we'll know it by then.
The clash of the titans will occur in the coming weeks as the deadline approaches on August 31st for Italy's Serie A, the Spanish Primera, and the English Premier League (and others). For each big player sold to another club, they'll need to replace them so the domino effect can also tip which way a club is moving. For example, Britain's Sunday Express reports that Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari is looking hard at Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Moutinho as a replacement for Frank Lampard (who is a likely transfer to Inter Milan). So, when you see Stamford Bridge making a strong move for Moutinho, you can expect that Lamps will be packing his bags for Inter.
In the meantime, with so much cash flying around, we won't get a true sense of where the big teams stand until the dust settles on September 1st - which also happens to be the Champion's League roster deadline.
Transfer Facts and Rumors on Americans Abroad:
- According to Corriere Dello Sport, Gabriel Enzo Ferrari of Sampdoria reserves has been loaned o Perugia of Serie C1 (3rd division).
- Vincenzo Bernardo of SSC Napoli is still waiting to see if he will be loaned to a Serie B team or if he'll stay onboard in the reserve (primavera) side.
- In an article for Tutto Mercato, Francesco Letizia recommended that Bologna pursue American defender Oguchi Onyewu, figuring he was just the type of physical presence they'll need in central defense. Bologna has yet to express interest in Onyewu but has looked into acquiring Freddy Adu.