French striker from Paris Saint-Germain, Kylian Mbappe (R), is replaced by Brazilian striker from Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar, Congratulated after scoring a goal during the French soccer semi-final match between Olympique Lyonnais (OL) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Groupama Stadium in Decines-Charpieu, central Eastern France, on March 4, 2020. (Photo by Philippe DESMAZES / AFP)
Since football has come to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, the usual transfer rumor mill has died down and nobody cares where Neymar or Paul Pogba could play next season.
Nobody knows when the next season could be, and the financial impact on football clubs and thus on the transfer market is likely to be significant.
A study by KPMG this week estimated that canceling the rest of this season's clubs in Europe's top five leagues would cost up to four billion euros in lost revenue.
The impetus could be huge and affect smaller clubs around the world.
Take a look at a club like Monaco, which has made huge sums in recent years because it sold players like Kylian Mbappe, who went to Paris Saint-Germain in 2018 for 180 million euros. They then invested this money in new recruits to spread the wealth.
"Given the international situation, clubs will be less inclined to pay the amounts we are looking for," admitted Monaco's Vice President Oleg Petrov.
Aside from concerns about who Mbappe, Neymar, or Pogba could sign for, there is a more pressing concern.
What about players without a contract?
UEFA's commitment to end the European season by June 30 was certainly partly due to contracts running until that date.
Players like David Silva from Manchester City, Willian near Chelsea or Thiago Silva from Paris Saint-Germain and Edinson Cavani can leave on July 1st, even if the season is not over yet.
FIFA has set up a working group that can change the rules for transfers and make changes to "protect contracts for players and clubs".
However, clubs have to take drastic measures to ward off financial disasters.
Some French teams, including Lyon, have given their players short-term work to save money. The Swiss team Sion canceled the contracts of nine players who refused to become temporarily unemployed.
In Scotland, player contracts often expire immediately after the planned last game of the season in May. In any case, fighting hearts have asked players and staff to accept 50 percent cut wages.
Meanwhile, young players who are out of contracts are a problem, says David Venditelli, a French agent whose Score company represents Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal, among others.
“For these players who are in a precarious situation, things are on hold. You are the most at risk, ”he says.
There may be more free agents in the market, but the biggest Champions League stars are unlikely to be affected.
Super agents like Mino Raiola, whose customers include Pogba and Erling Braut Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, will continue to play the game.
Raiola told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca this week that he hoped "one day he would transfer a massive player to Real Madrid" and "try to do it this summer".
Elsewhere, the dynamics of the market can change. "In a way, people will be on the lookout for bargains," says an agent with in-depth knowledge of the UK market. "A distressed club becomes a motivated seller, so there will be a fire sale of a distressed club that sells its assets."
However, the reality is that nothing is happening right now.
“Nobody wants to get involved in something like that now. Our main task at the moment is to make sure that all of our employees are looked after, ”says Jonathan Barnett, whose client is Gareth Bale.
“We all have the same problems, with uncertainty and things. We don't think about summer or transfers because we don't know how far this thing will go. "
More news about the new corona virus can be found here.
What You Need to Know About Corona Virus.
Further information on COVID-19 is available from the DOH hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
EDITORS & # 39; PICK
Don't miss the latest news and information.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and others over 70 titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to news, download at 4am and share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.