In his sixth exclusive column for CaughtOffside, Jon Smith, one of football’s first-ever agents and a man who was an integral figure in the forming of the Premier League, looks ahead to what is shaping up to be an exciting summer transfer window.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s time at Man United is over…
I think Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Manchester United. I think everyone knows it’s over – for good this time, too.
He did a great job last year but it is just not going to work for Erik ten Hag to have him at Old Trafford next season. There is only room for one boss.
Regarding potential destinations – it is really difficult. I don’t think he will go to Man City, Liverpool doesn’t need him, and Chelsea is considered an option but I am not sure how serious they really are.
There will be a deal somewhere though and some fans may not like this, but I wonder if Newcastle United will try their luck.
Why is nobody talking about Ronaldo to Newcastle United?
St James’ Park is incredible. Could you imagine the scenes if Ronaldo turned out for the Toon for a season or two?
Not just that, but when you think about it logically, a potential move for Ronaldo to Newcastle United is one of the few deals that runs the least risk of upsetting too many parties. Whereas, for example, if he went to the Etihad, the Glazers would have a lot of unhappy fans on their case.
If the Portugal international were to make a shock move to the North East, the club’s owners would make sure everybody involved was financially rewarded – legally, but also creatively. When it comes to potential agent’s fees, they would be astronomical!
For me, although I wouldn’t completely rule Chelsea out, if Ronaldo were to join the Magpies, it would tick a lot of ‘fun’ and ‘whacky’ boxes and that is exactly what the Premier League is all about.
Although the Red Devils won’t publically admit to wanting to lose Ronaldo, he is 37 years old and I know he is super fit, but at this level at that age, just one injury changes everything. I think if and when he does agree a move elsewhere, there will be a silent sigh of relief behind the scenes at Manchester United.
Steven Bergwijn close to joining Ajax…
The deal for Steven Bergwijn to sign for Ajax is close to being done. Both clubs have a small gap in valuation to bridge but I see no reason why it won’t be done.
It may be that Ajax have to sell someone first but with regards to Bergwijn joining, I don’t think this one doesn’t happen, let’s put it that way.
Overall, I think Daniel Levy has done incredibly well, so far this summer. The Richarlison deal is a great one and one I am sure was very emotionally draining.
Jesse Marsch must get Leeds United off to good start…
After losing Kalvin Phillips and appearing close to also losing Raphinha, Leeds United are going to have to do something a bit special this summer.
The jury is still very much out on Jesse Marsch. If he doesn’t start next season well, then I fear for him. The Whites are going to have to be incredibly creative – this is a very difficult period for them.
Nottingham Forest experiencing tricky transfer window…
Forest are throwing around all sorts of cash, but a lot of players aren’t wanting to go there because they don’t know what they’re going to get next season.
The owners are very good, very excited and very rich, but there are some concerns after so many players left at the end of last season. They won promotion but they had so many players in on loan.
Everton set to revisit Harry Winks…
Everton have to do something soon.
They’re in a bit of a mess but I believe Harry Winks from Spurs to Goodison Park still has something left in it. I don’t believe it is totally dead but it could take some time yet.
Aaron Hickey to Brentford for £14m?
I think they’ve done well with the impending signing of Aaron Hickey but I don’t believe the Bees paid £14m for him.
One or two million less makes more sense.