If you thought spending in NBA Free Agency was excessive, perhaps you haven’t heard the numbers that are coming out of Europe this week? (No, it’s not about the cost of Brexit.) The transfer window is wide open for all major European soccer leagues until late August, and the money being passed around is straight up ridiculous. (At least the Lakers didn’t have to pay the Cavaliers $80 million just for the right to sign Timofey Mozgov.)
The biggest news in the tabloids is that Manchester United (the Washington Redskins of the Premier League) are set to spend a record £100 million transfer fee to land Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. You may remember Pogba for his solid, but unspectacular performances for France in the Euro Cup. Man U want to pay Juventus that insane kind of money just to get Pogba on their team; then they’ll proceed to pay Pogba about £250,000 a week.
Pogba would certainly be a change of pace for Man U, who usually invade the past-their-prime market (see the recent addition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic or last year’s pickup of Bastian Schweinsteiger).
Despite the record money on the table, Pogba’s mind isn’t made up yet. So expect a few more days of juicy speculation from the European media, because if there’s one cow they never get tired of milking, it’s the one that squirts out transfer rumors.
Pogba isn’t the only Euro Cup participant to generate a ton of buzz during this transfer window. From teammate Dimitri Payet to a few blooming stars in the Portugese midfield, a lot of familiar names could be on the move this summer.
Let’s examine the odds for the 2016 transfer window.
2016 Transfer Window Odds
Odds where Paul Pogba is playing on Sept 1:
- Manchester United: 1/1
- Juventus: 5/2
- Real Madrid: 5/2
Depending on who you ask, Pogba to Man U ranks anywhere from a “done deal” to “never going to happen.” (Thanks for the consistency, English tabloids!) The big money is alluring, but the midfielder is taking his time on this decision for a reason; all possibilities are in play, including a return to Juve for more money.
Odds where Dimitri Payet is playing on Sept 1:
- West Ham: 1/9
- Real Madrid: 15/1
- PSG: 20/1
- Man City: 20/1
West Ham doesn’t sound too interested in hearing offers for their stud midfielder, but they might budge if someone starts offering up the type of money his national teammate is fetching.
Odds where Joao Mario is playing on Sept 1:
- Inter Milan: 5/4
- Chelsea: 2/1
- Manchester United: 5/1
- Atletico Madrid: 16/1
- Sporting Lisbon: 16/1
The latest rumors out of Italy were that the Portuguese midfielder (who currently plays for Sporting in his native Portugal) turned down an offer from Atletico because of his desire to sign with Inter. That desire could be swayed by some ridiculous Premier League money though.
Odds where William Carvahlo is playing on Sept 1:
- Everton: 2/1
- Leicester City: 3/1
- Southampton: 7/2
More teams will no doubt join this fray as they whiff on more high-profile midfielders, but for now it sounds like £20 million is the price for Carvahlo.
Odds where Julian Draxler is playing on Sept 1:
- Arsenal: 2/1
- Man United: 7/3
- Chelsea: 4/1
- Liverpool: 6/1
Draxler has reportedly told Wolfsburg he’d like to move this summer, opening the door for a number of interesting scenarios, including reuniting with German teammate Mesut Ozil in Arsenal.
Odds where Mario Goetze is playing on Sept 1:
- Borussia Dortumund: 5/4
- Tottenham: 3/1
- Bayern Munich: 4/1
- Arsenal: 10/1
Goetze’s value has never been lower. His frustration in Bayern makes a potentially career-rebooting move likely.
Odds where Peter Crouch is playing on Sept 1:
- Newcastle: 7/12
- Stoke City: 12/7
The lanky former English national star now appears headed for a trip down to the Championship, to reunite with former head coach Rafa Benitez. Ah well, keep smiling Peter! (On second thought, don’t.)
(Photo Credit: Muhammad Ashiq [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)