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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 May, 2003, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Clubs face quiet summer
By Andrew McKenzie

The transfer window re-opens on Sunday, giving clubs three months to bring players in.

But what is likely to happen before the window closes again on 31 August?

Here are the views of a manager, a player and an agent about what this summer will bring and whether, a year after it was introduced, the transfer window is working.


The manager - Harry Redknapp (Portsmouth boss)

I cannot see there being an awful lot of money around this summer. I've been all around Europe to watch games and everybody is skint.

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp
Redknapp will need to wheel and deal
All the clubs in Holland have got no money and the Spanish and the Italian markets are the same.

In the lower leagues it will just be free transfers and loaning younger players from Premiership clubs.

I don't think there was even one 1m deal in the First Division for the whole of last season.

I can't honestly see a great deal of sense in the transfer window. I know people say you've got to work with what you've got, but when you pick up the injuries it is very difficult when you haven't got a big squad.

The bigger clubs can cope because they have all got massive squads, but lower down you lose two or three key players and it makes a massive difference.

I'm sure it is bad for agents. They are probably only working a few months a year now, whereas before they were trying to shift their players all year round.

The one good thing from my point of view is your phone is not so busy. It can drive you crazy with agents ringing you up all the time, so at least we might get a bit of peace and quiet.


The agent - Bernie Mandic (represents Leeds forward Harry Kewell)

I cannot for the life of me see any transfer topping the 20m mark.

There's only Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy worth that kind of money.

I don't even think David Beckham would go to Real Madrid for anywhere near 35m.

The problem is there are only a few clubs that can afford to pay those sort of figures.

AC Milan can't afford to pay 20m for anyone anymore.

Madrid playmaker Zinedine Zidane
Zidane is a top earner

Real Madrid are already struggling to meet their own financial payments at times. The fact they bombed out of the Champions League is going to cost them dearly.

Clubs are now either wanting players who are Bosmans or on loan.

Things are going to get worse before they get better.

The elite players are always going to command a premium and I think they deserve to.

Zinedine Zidane deserves to be on the huge wages because, like Michael Jordan and people like that, he entertains and gives value for money.

But for the guys who are basically journeymen, who are interchangeable and make very little difference, why should those guys be on even a quarter of the money that Zidane is on?

They don't offer entertainment value or anything special.


The player - Nigel Winterburn (former West Ham defender, now out of contract)

I don't think there is going to be a fantastic amount of buying even from the big clubs.

Former Arsenal and West Ham defender Nigel Winterburn
Winterburn is available on a Bosman
I think you might see the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United buying a couple of players, but I think the days of 35m transfer fees are gone.

With the clubs in the First and Second Division there will be a lot of signings, but they will be more free transfers and players released from other clubs.

I don't think teams from the lower leagues are looking to pay a fee any more. They are looking to get them in for nothing.

Things have changed drastically in the last 12-18 months. Clubs can't afford to keep the players on the wages they were on so they are letting a lot go.

In general it is harder for players to find clubs now. I think they are talking about there being 1,000 players released.

I think players are going to have to start being realistic about the sort of money they want to earn and I think some of them are going to be in for a big shock.

I think the transfer window has made it more difficult for the clubs because before if you had a lot of injuries you could go out and bring players in.

But in a way I think it will help the younger players coming through because they could get their first-team chance, whereas a few years ago that wouldn't have happened.

I think in a way it has helped players, but I think there would be a lot of players who would tell you differently.





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