There are so many questions and few answers when it comes to how things are going to play out in the soccer world. Every major federation has suspended play due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has left the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and other leagues paused at the final stretch of the season with uncertainty as to when it will resume.
One of the biggest questions out there is what will happen with the summer transfer window, which is scheduled to open on June 10. Leagues around the world, specifically in Europe, aren’t going to be able to finish the season before that date. Take the Champions League for instance: UEFA envisioned a scenario in which the season wrapped up by June 30. That was, of course, before some European nations began to really feel the impact of this global health crisis.
So how are teams going to deal with buying and selling players in the summer?
The obvious answer would be to shorten the transfer window to July, but Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has an idea as a result of the economic impact the pandemic. The virus has hit the reigning Serie A champs particularly hard with Paulo Dybala, Blaise Matuidi and Daniele Rugani.
Paratici predicts that soccer could take a page from the NBA and execute more trades as opposed to buying and selling players. With teams potentially missing out on millions of dollars on TV deals, prize money, ticket and merchandise sales and more, trading may be the most economical option for teams to modify their squads.
“There will be lots of trades, a situation that will bring football closer to the NBA,” Paratici told TuttoSport.
Paratici anticipates teams in countries with stronger economies might not need to take such measures to stay afloat.
“It’s also likely that some of the clubs, for example in Germany, may benefit from the overall situation of crisis as they have a more solid economy than others,” he added.
Trades are not very common in soccer, though we’ve seen them in the past. Often it includes swapping players and money, though we did see a straight trade in January of 2018 when Arsenal sent Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The most notable swap in recent history came in 2009 when Barcelona sent Samuel Eto’o and $56 million to Inter Milan in exchange for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Eto’o went on to win the Champions League at Inter under Jose Mourinho, while Ibrahimovic never settled in at the Camp Nou and later moved back to Italy to play for AC Milan.
UEFA has not officially made any decision yet as to what will happen with this summer’s transfer window.