How Football Transfer Works


By Olasoji Fasoranti



The transfer window as well known, is always an exciting time for players, clubs, agents, and fans.

Everyone is always excited to track the rumours and the confirmed signings,  but what most people doesn’t know is, there are many processes involved in this exciting time of football.

To explain further, a tale of a fictional rising star named Michael Rodriguez would be used.


So let’s assume Michael Rodriguez is a 19- year old attacking midfielder who plays in the Spanish league for UD Las Palmas, notably known for his pace, precision and power with a bag load of skills. He scores couple of goals and at that rate, teams starts taking note of him.

The next thing you notice on various tabloids, newspapers and other social media platforms is different clubs like Manchester united, Chelsea and Arsenal wants to sign him. But the question is how do one of these clubs make him put pen to paper?

• The first stage in transfers is “Scouting.”


Players are usually scouted before hand to know how good or how they fit into the style of the team interested in the player. After scouting for a couple of times, some clubs don’t usually get to sign the player eventually, but it is important to scout before signing a player.

At this stage, ” Michael Rodriguez is watched by Manchester united and Arsenal “. This stage also involves speaking to agents, forging relationship with the player’s family and friends.


The Next stage is ” The bid”.

So once a player has been identified, the transfer(or loan) offer which may seem straightforward but it’s not.

The best way in making a bid is for the buying club to submit a formal offer for a player which would be considered by the selling club. Also, at this stage, agents act as intermediaries between the buyers and the sellers and can set the wheels in motion for a deal that otherwise may not have been struck.

Rarely will a bid be submitted for a single player, without the buying club having contacted the player’s representative to see if he would be interested in a move, and if so, what kind of wages he would be paid, this is usually called “Tapping up” and it’s usually frowned at by the premier league, but it’s pretty much a common practice across the game.


• The next stage is “Negotiations”.

At this stage, the media provide stories like ” Arsenal are in preliminary talks with Michael Rodriguez “.

The stories provide stock phrases like ” advanced discussions “, ” Talks ongoing ” and so on. Negotiations meetings are often brief, with laying out player’s demands, and an official (usually the club executive, head of recruitment or director of football) giving the club’s side of things.

Issues that are normally thrashed out during negotiations are salary bonuses, signing on fees and so on.


• Medicals Stage

After the negotiation stage, the final hurdles in completing a deal are the medicals and for some players, the work permit.

Medicals at top-level clubs are stringent, carried out at the training ground and are usually often well-published through the club’s media channels. Work permits are needed for any player over the age of 16 who doesn’t own an EU passport. The buying club agrees to sponsor the player.

So there you have it!!!

The fee is agreed, personal terms are agreed, the medical is done. All that remain is to lodge the signed, sealed and finalised paperwork with the league and the FA.


• The Unveiling Process

After all these is done, the media goes;

” Arsenal has completed the signing of Michael Rodriguez “.

After which the player is unveiled to the fans and media.


Simple isn’t it?.


Images Credit: ESPN

1 Comment

Leave a Reply