|The manager's view|
|Around the Academy:
In over 20 years of football management, Dave Bassett has overseen countless player transfers.
He gives the inside track on what happens when a player moves clubs.
Sport Academy: When you've found a player you're interested in, what's the first thing you do?
Dave Bassett: Once you've found a player you want, you approach his club to see whether they'd be prepared to sell him. The two clubs will haggle and decide on a transfer fee.
These discussions can take a long time because both clubs want to get the best deal.
SA: What if there's more than one club interested? Have you ever had a player swiped from under you nose?
You want to keep these things as quiet as possible, but that's not always easy. Sometimes the player's agent will let the press know, because he wants to alert other clubs that the player is available.
SA: What happens once the clubs have agreed on a fee?
DB: The selling club gives the buying club permission to talk to the player and his agent. Depending on the player's age, his parents may also be present.
In really big transfers the player's accountant and solicitor may also come along.
As well as the contract itself, there could also be image rights and commercial activities to discuss.
There's a lot of discussion about the length of contract and of course about how much money the player will earn.
The club are looking to pay a salary they think is sensible, while the player's agent may be looking for a higher figure. Negotiations can take a long time - it might be done in one day.
SA: Have you had a player make a really outrageous demand?
Players and agents are all fairly sensible, but there have been one or two occasions where their demands have been totally unrealistic.
When that has happened things have broken down fairly quickly!
But I've never had a player ask for anything really silly like a boat or a plane or something like that!
SA: Is the decision to sign a player based only on his skills? How important is a player's personality?
DB: We try and learn as much about a player's character as possible.
Is he well behaved? What is his attitude like? Is he a team player or an individual? Does he have a happy home life or are there any problems?
This information is vitally important. If you bring in the wrong type of character it can be very unsettling for the rest of the team.
SA:Who would you say has been your best bargain buy?
DB: I've bought a few bargains in my time.
Nigel Winterburn and Dennis Wise cost me nothing when I was Wimbledon manager and they turned out to be internationals, and I paid just £1,000 for Dave Beasant.
I think my best buy was probably Brian Deane. I took him from Doncaster to Sheffield United for £30,000 and he was later sold to Leeds for £2.9m.
Nathan Blake was another good deal. I paid £30,000 to bring him to the Blades and he was eventually sold for around £1.6m.