The long drawn out Manchester United saga of the summer hasn’t been Jadon Sancho but moving center back Chris Smalling on to AS Roma.
Smalling spent last season on loan with Roma where he was one of the best defenders of Serie A. It’s no surprise the Italians wanted to make the deal permanent and with the player out of favor with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Smalling was keen too.
United were asking for a £20 million fee and Roma were looking ready to play ball. This deal would be done quickly and easily.
What fools we were! It’s never that simple with Manchester United.
The original deal fell apart thanks to an ownership change at AS Roma and new folks in charge not playing ball. Recently it’s been back on the table, and for the past week Smalling has been training away from the rest of the club as his representatives worked to finalize the deal.
Then out of nowhere Monday night Sky Sports reported that the deal was off.
Of course the internet went nuts about this. Just sell him, why are you being greedy? United are completely incompetent.
Can we all calm down for a second?
It’s funny, when reports break out that United may back out of a deal, fans are quick to say “that’s just a negotiation ploy, they did the same thing with Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire.” But as soon as the same story comes against United, they assume that United botched the deal?
Did it ever occur to you that it’s possible that Roma were just doing the same thing to United that United do to everyone else?
By Tuesday morning that report was already rebuffed.
We really need to calm down folks.
Considering my propensity to instantly react to almost everything I have been remarkably calm during this whole transfer window. As I’ve been saying all along, the Jadon Sancho saga would drag on until at least September.
Am I getting annoyed that it’s now September 15th and it hasn’t been done? Yes, but do I think the deal is off because it hasn’t been done? No. It’s just taking time. Guess what, the window is still open. They still have time.
Part of the reason I’ve been able to stay calm is because over the past few years I’ve extensively studied football finances and how the transfer market works. It’s complicated as fuck, but I’ve got a pretty rudimentary understanding as to how it works.
Let’s start with this.
Stop reacting to every single headline. If we let every headline rile us up we’re going to kill ourselves from stress.
The first thing you need to understand is journalists have NO IDEA what’s going on in transfer negotiations. No club keeps a journalist on call to document all the calls they’re making and who they’re going after. No one hangs up the phone with the latest tidbits on a deal and says “call a reporter and let them know.”
The most important thing to understand is that if something ends up in the newspapers it’s because someone wants it there. That could be the buying club, the player’s agent, or the selling club. Everything that ends up in the papers is a negotiation tactic.
United have their famous “briefings.” You know, when every single beat reporter from the club tweets the exact same thing verbatim within a minute of each other. They’re so transparent it’s laughable.
United did one of these last week when they “leaked” that personal terms with Jadon Sancho were all agreed and the only thing holding up the deal was the structure of the deal.
This was nothing new. Personal terms being agreed was reported on months ago. What United were doing was putting pressure on Borussia Dortmund. They were trying to say, “see, your player wants to leave now you should sell him.”
Fans rightfully went nuts with this move. Why would United put this “brief” out if they weren’t close to a deal? If the deal doesn’t happen now the club has a whole lotta egg on their face.
That brings us to the next thing. Just because there’s no news doesn’t mean there’s no deal.
That Jadon Sancho brief happened on Wednesday and when it happened everyone started celebrating that the deal would definitely be happening.
By Friday the mood had suddenly changed. When I woke up I had several people tweeting at me along the lines of “are you still confident that the Sancho deal will happen?”
Uhhh yea. Because nothing has changed.
I don’t know why but apparently because no more news had come out everyone assumed that the deal had fallen apart.
Remember, that’s not how it works. Teams don’t keep the media appraised of every conversation that they have. They have nothing to gain from that. No news typically means teams are actually talking to each other.
For some reason fans think that no news means the deal has fallen apart. They thought that about Reguilon on Friday as well, only for reports to come out over the weekend that it was very much back on.
That’s the last thing. Stop freaking out about every headline. Remember that newspapers really don’t know what’s going on, but “nothing going on” isn’t a news story. They still need to get their clicks and sell papers.
When there’s nothing to report they still need to report something. If you say something like “United are exploring backup options” that’ll generate you clicks. It’s true, because United are always exploring backup options. They’ve been doing that all summer – hence why they were “monitoring” Gabriel’s situation at Lille. Then throw in some big names like Gareth Bale as one of the options and boom, you’ll get your clicks.
Everyone else will follow suit and report the same thing so it’ll look legit, the papers will get their clicks, and the fan base will be in uproar. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Take a step back. Remember that everything the tabloids “report” on is there because someone wants it to be there. Don’t freak out about every headline. I promise you it becomes much easier to stay calm that way.