La Liga Sets A New Record In Summer Transfer Window

La Liga Santander teams have rarely shown much appetite to spend in the summer market, yet as the fiscal gap between the Spanish top flight and Premier League has closed ever so slightly, teams have been prepared to gamble on new players.

Miami, Fla. (Monday September 9, 2019) – Photos: KE Russo

LA LIGA: Looking At The Summer Transfer Window

On September 2, 2019, the summer transfer window closed for Spanish club’s. This report highlights some facts and figures from the transfer ñwindow involving Spanish top flight clubs. Statistics about fees is sources from Transfermarkt. This is not always exact due to the fact that the reporting of transfers by the media is not consistent and even the clubs involved will quote different figures depending on how a deal is structured. Disclaimers aside, it is a good source of information.

The Numbers:

Total Euros Spent by La Liga Clubs – €1,319,620,000

On the purchasing side, over one billion Euros was a new record for La Liga in one transfer window. Real Madrid were the highest spenders, and the amount spent was also aided by the Antoine Griezmann and João Félix deals.

Coverage of the transfer market in the media. Source: La Marca, September 7, 2019.

The record spending would have been even higher, probably in excess of €1.5 billion, if a couple of rumoured transfers had actually been completed, such as Neymar returning to FC Barcelona, or Paul Pogba and/or Tottenham’s Danish forward Christian Eriksen to Real Madrid.

The Big Three’s Impact On The Numbers

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid disbursed a massive €806m in this transfer window. In third place was Atlético de Madrid, where the bulk of their spending, €126 million, was paid to Sport Lisboa e Benfica for João Félix, making the young Portuguese striker the most expensive Atlético signing of all time, and the most expensive Portuguese player signing ever. (You heard that right, Cristiano fans.) The big three clubs’ combined spending amounted to 61% of the money spent by La Liga clubs, with the other 17 sides spending just under €514m.

The fourth place spender was Sevilla Football Club, who accounted for a good portion of that €514m by spending almost €159m on new players.

Top Four Widen Their Margin

Including Sevilla FC along with the top three results in the combined percentage of the total spent being increased to 72.8 %, going back to an older theme of larger polarisation. All of the top spenders broke their respective club records.

Total Money Recouped by La Liga Clubs – €1,026,720,000

On the selling side of the market, Spanish top flight clubs also recouped over €1 billion during this transfer window, meaning that the total net spend is less than €300m, which averages out to under €15m per club. Take out Barcelona and Real Madrid and that total net spend for the league reduces to just €17m (less than €1m per club on average). Compared to the Premier League, where mid-table and bottom half sides are capable of spending large sums on individual players, the same cannot be said for mid-table La Liga clubs. Though the smaller clubs are packing a bit more of a finncial punch these days, it is at a lower spending level than the Premier League.

Biggest Spenders –

Rank (Spain) Club Rank in Europe

  1. Real Madrid (€307.5m) 1st
  2. Fútbol Club Barcelona (€255) 2nd
  3. Atlético de Madrid (€243.5) 3rd
  4. Sevilla Football Club (€158) 7th

Real Madrid were the biggest spenders in this transfer window with Barcelona (€255m) and Atletico Madrid (€243.5m) close behind. Los Blancos were quick to open their coffers with deals to obtain Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Éder Militão and Ferland Mendy, who combined for a bill of over €40m.

Lowest Spenders – Athletic Club Bilbao (€0m)

Athletic Club were the only club who didn’t spend any money this summer with the club’s famous ‘Basque only’ policy always affecting their dealings. Iñaki Williams signed a nine-year contract (practically unheard of anymore) which allowed Athletic to at least not lose their biggest player. The next lowest spenders were Real Valladolid who only signed one player on a permanent deal – Pablo Hervias for €1m from Eibar.

Most Money Received from Sales – Atletico Madrid (€313.1m)

The keys to Atlético de Madrid’s revenue from sales were the transfers of Antoine Griezman (€120) to Barcelona, Rodri (€70m) to Manchester City, Lucas Hernández (€80m) to Bayern München, and Portuguese winger Gelson Martins (€30) to Monaco. Combined these four sales generated €300m in cash to reinvest in the club. This helped to offset Atlético Madrid’s refusal to offer new longer term contracts to their ageing defenders, which resulted in Diego Godín, Filipe Luis and Juanfran all leaving for free.

Barcelona were next in this category with €156.4m coming in as Jasper Cillessen, Malcom Oliveira, Andre Gomes, Paco Alcacer and Denis Suárez all departed, while they also received an €8.5m loan fee from Bayern for Philippe Coutinho.

Most Expensive Signing – João Félix (€126m)

As mentioned, at €126m, João Félix was the most expensive signing by a La Liga club in this transfer window. However there were a couple of others that came close, with Antoine Griezmann moving to Barcelona for €120m and Eden Hazard arriving at the Bernabeu from Chelsea for €100m. Again, the exact figures may ultimately vary depending on add-ons and the success the players have at their new clubs. Those three deals were also the most expensive anywhere in Europe this summer, with Harry Maguire’s transfer to Manchester United the next highest.

Most Signings – Mallorca & Leganes (14)

Mallorca and Leganes top the list for most signings with 14. This does not include players who have been bought and then sold or bought and immediately loaned out. Thus the actual number of ‘new’ arrivals those is much lower given that both clubs have been very active re-signing players who they had on loan last season. In terms of the highest turnover of players, Sevilla come out clearly on top with 13 new signings, none of whom were at the club last season.

Biggest Net Spenders – Real Madrid (€177.5m)

Not surprisingly, Real Madrid were the biggest net spenders. While Mateo Kovacic, Marcos Llorente, Raul de Tomás, Theo Hernández and Keylor Navas all left for €15m+ fees, they failed to find a buyer for Gareth Bale or James Rodriguez, two of their biggest earners. As a result, it was difficult for the club to finance any move for Paul Pogba or Neymar. While writers may say it was a “so-so” window for Los Blancos, the proof will ultimately come with results on the pitch. Barcelona finished with a net spend of €98.6m while Sevilla also spent over €50m more than they recouped.

Biggest Net Profit – Atletico Madrid (€69.6

Surprisingly, given Atlético de Madrid smashed their transfer record on João Félix, the third most expensive player of all time, they still managed to end up with the largest overall transfer profit of any club in La Liga. Villarreal and Espanyol also clocked up net transfer profits of over €40m. In the case of the Yellow Submarine, there was perhaps some need to be profitable after a well below par season deprived them of the revenue the Europa or Champions League will bring. However Espanyol are in the Europa League for the first time in 13 year, although they suffered losses during the summer with Borja Iglesias following coach Rubi to Real Betis, and Mario Hermoso going to Atlético. On the incoming side, Argentine left winger Matías Vargas arrived from Vélez Sarsfield (€10.5m) and central defender Fernando Calero (€8.0m) from Valladolid were the main additions Given early results like a 3-0 drubbing at home by newcomers Granada CF on September 1, they could have used more help.

Club Net Transfer Spend (€m)

Real Madrid -177.5 Barcelona -98.6 Sevilla -57.6 Valencia -30 Real Betis -26.3 Leganes -19.5 Osasuna -13.5 Real Sociedad -11.8 Levante -8.8 Mallorca -7 Granada -7 Getafe -6.8 Celta Vigo -3.3 Athletic Club 0 Real Valladolid +7 Alaves +7.2 Eibar +9.9 Villarreal +40.2 Espanyol +40.5 Atletico Madrid +69.6

How do La Liga Figures compare to the Premier League & Serie A?

Speculation was that La Liga could possibly out spend the Premier League this summer. However, with European windows now shut, that ultimately was not the case. Premier League clubs total spent a total of €1.55bn, over €200m more than the equivalent figures in La Liga. Regarding net spending the gap is wider, with Premier League clubs spending €732m more than they recouped compared to a net spend of less than €300m in La Liga. Even if Real Madrid had pulled off a late mega-deal for Paul Pogba and Barcelona had signed Neymar, it still likely would not have been enough to catch the Premier League. A closer comparison is between that of La Liga and Serie A. Italian top flight clubs paid out €1.18bn on new signings, marginally less than Spanish clubs. However their net spend was in fact greater (€328m), due to Serie A clubs recouping less money from player sales. Thus, as was the case last season, La Liga’s net transfer spending this summer was only the third highest in Europe, again behind the Premier League and Serie A.

Here is an excellent graphic found in Transfermarkt that compares the transfer balances around the world’s leagues:

Transfermarkt.com – Transfer Balances – Season 2019

The European Transfer Market for this summer was also a topic discussed at SoccerEx Europe 2019, which took place last week in the Lisbon suburb of Oeiras. Further insights are included in a new release of the Football Transfer Review 2019 by Prime Time Sport. The report was presented by Esteve Calzada, CEO of Prime Time Sport.

Esteve Calzada, CEO, Prime Time Sports 📷 SoccerEx
Chart Showing Amounts Spent On Player Acquisitions In The Top 5 European Leagues.
Continue reading La Liga Sets A New Record In Summer Transfer Window

Shortlist Of Head Coaching Candidates at Inter Miami CF

Several Names Meet The Criteria

Miami, Fla. (Saturday, August 3, 2019) – Kenneth Russo

Inter Miami begins its first season in Major League Soccer next March, and team officials were present at last Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game in Orlando. Managing Owner Jorge Mas spoke with BBC Sports and other reporters, telling them that the team is “very close” to hiring a manager, and further that it is “someone you’re going to know who has coached before at the highest level and who has played at the highest level.” He said they are looking for a long-term coach.

“We are trying to get someone who can also commit here for a period of time and leave his fingerprints on our team,” Mas said.

“MLS experience is not a hard-fast requirement; but if we brought a coach in who did not have MLS experience, then we’d certainly understand there’s a void there and add MLS experience to his immediate support staff .”

Paul McDonough, Sporting Director

Jorge has previously mentioned the fact that the team had been to Europe to talk to candidates. With the above criteria and taking into account managers who are available, a shortlist of candidates would include:

Santiago Solari

The 42-year-old Argentine played at River Plate, Atlético Madrid, and Inter Milan, and has coached the Argentine national team, Real Madrid youth and briefly Real Madrid CF.

Solari took over the reigns at Real Madrid after Julien Lotepegui was dismissed following a 5-1 thrashing to Barcelona in El Clásico at the Camp Nou last October. He was the victim of two fatal weeks, in which Real said adíos to having a chance to win any of the three competitions in play (Copa del Rey, Champions League and La Liga). His time in charge ended on March 11, 2019 with the arrival of Zizou.

Solari retreated after his dismissal to his house in Ibiza to relax and destress. He still is being paid his salary by Real Madrid as his contract with the Merengues runs until 2021. He reportedly also received an offer to work at the club as a coach at their academy (“fútbol base de Valdebebas”) in April 2019 but wanted more time to respond, and ultimately did not take that job.

Both Solari and Julien Lotepegui want to continue to manage at the senior level. In the case of Lotepegui, he has received offers in the past from clubs in the Premier League, and it is thought that his preferred coaching style would be well suited to that competition. Solari was reportedly considered by Real Betis as a replacement for Quique Setién, who managed Betis for the past two seasons.

Massimiliano “Max” Allegri

Foto LaPresse – Daniele Badolato 21/05/2017 Torino ( Italia) Sport Calcio Juventus –

Allegri, 51, Italian, is a former midfielder who played in the Serie A and most recently led Juventus to five consecutive Scudettos (Serie A league titles, four Coppa Italia titles) and two Champions League finals from 2014-19. His five straight Scudetti is a first for a Serie A manager. Since his first appointment at Aglianese in Italy’s Serie C2 in 2004, Allegri has been on an increasing upwards trajectory which has now placed him as one of Europe’s top coaches. He won the Serie A title in his first year coaching AC Milan in 2010-11 season.

Allegri is ranked number four in the ESPN ranking of the world’s top 100 Coaches. Apart from his very obvious leadership qualities, Allegri’s success is also due to his tactical flexi bility, which makes him probably the most complete coach in the world. Allegri has also proven he can handle big personalities and players, with names likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf, Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Antonio Cassano and more recently Cristiano Ronaldo shining under his leadership.

“Playing well is one thing, winning is another.”

Max Allegri

David Moyes

The 56-year-old Scot played at Celtic, then coached at Preston North End, Everton Manchester United, Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham United).

Moyes recently spoke openly about his experience when first beginning at Everton:

He also recently had this to say about Manchester United, where he was hired in 2013 to replace the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, and later sacked after just 10 months at Old Trafford. He admits he will always be disappointed that he failed to carry on Fergie’s run of success.

Jurgen Klinsmann

Juergen Klinsmann faces the media next to the club’s logo at a press conference in Munich, Jan. 11, 2008. AP Photo/Diether Endlicher)

Klinsmann, 55, is a former German international and US Men’s National Team coach who resides in Southern California. He too fits the description. He played for VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan, AS Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich, and played on the 1990 World Cup Champion team for Germany. In addition to the United States, Klinsmann has coached Germany, guiding Der Mannschaft to a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup. No matter where he has managed, he has left behind a slew of supporters and detractors. As a club manager with Bayern Munich, Klinsmann lasted less than a full season, being fired in April 2009. He was credited with bringing new philosophies and even new-age training ideas to a club steeped in tradition.

Klinsmann seems like an unlikely candidate for the Inter Miami job. He has indicated a willingness to get back into coaching, but only if the right opportunity were to arise. It also appears his interests lie in coaching a national team rather than a club.

“Ahead of the World Cup in Russia, I had four or five inquiries from teams playing there,” Klinsmann told Sport Bild. “But I turned them down because their goal was to survive the group stages.”

“I had this goal with the U.S. (at the 2014 World Cup). It’s not enough for me now. If (I return), I want to lead an association of a certain calibre and with the goal to reach the semifinals at the World Cup. But if such a situation does not come to pass in the foreseeable future, I wouldn’t mind it for family reasons. My daughter Laila still attends school. And when she attends university next year, the situation changes.”

Roberto Martínez

Former Wigan, Swansea and Everton Manager Roberto Martínez, now coaching Belgium.

The current manager of the Belgium national team, Roberto Martínez, 46, was linked as a potential successor to Ernesto Valverde at FC Barcelona. The Spanish national is originally from Catalunya. He is under contract with the Belgian federation until June 30, 2020, as is Valverde at Barcelona.

According to a local Barcelona media report, the Blaugrana would prefer a coach who is ‘tougher’ in training, more ‘daring’ with his tactics and substitutions, and plays a more ‘attacking’ style of football. That local media outlet settles on Martinez as an individual who ticks those boxes.

Martínez began his playing career at Balaguer (his hometown in Spain), then played in England and Scotland (Wigan 1995-2001, Motherwell 2001-2002, Walsall 2002-2003, Swansea 2003-2006 et Chester 2006-2007). As a coach he has been in charge of Swansea from 2007-2009, Wigan 2009-2013 and Everton 2013-2016 prior to accepting the position with the Belgian Federation in 2016.

Martinez signed a contract to become the manager of Wigan Athletic in June 2009. Upon his arrival at the Barclays Premier League team, Martinez quickly established himself as one of the best young minds in the ranks of European football managers.  He spent four Premier League seasons at Wigan.

Martinez was named the manager at Everton FC in June 2013, taking over the team from David Moyes who replaced legendary Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

His most notable distinction to-date is leading Les Diables Rouges to a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup. He also guided Wigan to the FA Cup title in 2012-13.

Thierry Henry

Henry, the 41-year-old former French international, won a World Cup with Les Bleues and is one of the best strikers of all-time, and has played and coached at the top level. Henry played for Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal (leading scorer in club history with 174 goals), Barcelona, and the New York Red Bulls, which gives him MLS experience. He was an assistant coach for Belgium’s World Cup team in 2018 and coached in his first assignment as a manager at Monaco last season, but was let go.

Thierry Henry (Arsenal) celebrates with Arsenal at the last match ever at Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London, 7-May-2006. Credit : Arsenal Football Club / Stuart MacFarlane.

Gennaro Gattuso

Italian sports daily publication La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that former Italian international midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is one of the leading candidates to become the first manager of Inter Miami CF and has been in serious talks with the club. Gattuso was one of the key players on some great AC Milan squads during the early 2000s, playing alongside such stars as Defenders Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta, midfielder Andrea Pirlo and under the direction of manager Carlo Ancelotti. He was also a teammate of David Beckham in 2009-10.

Gattuso, 41, resigned as coach of AC Milan in late-May after the team finished in fifth place in Serie A, one spot short of qualification for the UEFA Champions League. Talking about his emotional departure from the Rossoneri he told La Repubblica:

“Deciding to leave Milan’s bench is not easy. But it’s a decision I had to make. There was not a precise moment in which I made it, it was the sum of these 18 months as coach of a team that for me will never be like the others. Months that I lived with great passion, unforgettable months. Mine is a painful but thoughtful choice. 

“Am I giving up a two-year contract? Yes, because my story with Milan can never be a question of money.”

He went to say that the stress had gotten the best of him. “I’ve barely slept in the past 18 months, mentally I’m in pieces.” He had two years left on his contract at the time of his resignation; he asked that his remaining salary be divided among his assistant coaches.

Gattuso played 468 matches for Milan from 1999-2012 and wore the captain’s armband after Paolo Maldini retired. During his career, he won Champions League titles, Serie A championships, and played in three World Cups with the Italian national team, including as a member of the World Cup Champion side in 2006.

Gattuso was known for his fierce play. He left everything on the field every match, becoming famous for his fighting spirit, heart and determination. There is no doubt that he has first-hand knowledge about what it is like to play for a championship side.

Gennaro Gattuso challenging Palermo’s Luca Toni in a match in at the Stadio Renzo Barberi in Palermo on January 9, 2005.

Gattuso previously coached AC Milan’s U19 team, assuming the managerial post for the first team midway through the 2017-18 campaign following a tough start to the season for the Rossoneri. Pundits immediately questioned the decision due to his lack of experience. Gennaro tackled the question at his initial press conference: “It’s ridiculous to me that all we ever talk about is my grit,” he said. “They didn’t just give me my licence, I studied to get it.” Gattuso lit a fire under the Milan players, and whatever he may have lacked in managerial experience, he was able to get more from the players than predecessor Vincenzo Montella and steered Milan to sixth spot, as well as the Coppa Italia final.

As a result of his fine work, the Italian was handed the job permanently at Milan and signed a contract until 2021. Overall with AC Milan, he won 40 games, lost 20 and drew 22. Milan’s fifth-place finish in Serie A last season was its best since 2012-13, but he opted to leave.

According to La Gazzetta, he recently turned down the coaching job at French club Nantes. He was also linked with the Newcastle job in England, but they hired Sheffield Wednesday coach Steve Bruce.

Italian fashion: Gennaro Gattuso while head coach of Palermo during the Serie B match between AS Bari and US Citta di Palermo at Stadio San Nicola on September 24, 2013 in Bari, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

What could we expect from the man nicknamed “il ringhio” (the Italian word for growl) in Miami at the helm of the Rosinegro? At his very first press conference with AC Milan, Gattuso confirmed that he would deploy a back three, four in midfield and some variation of three forwards, a 3-4-1-2 looking likely. He also has deployed on many occasions at Milan a 4-3-3, with an emphasis on possession and a patient build up in the attack. He makes full use of the full backs get high and wide to take the place of the wingers should they go looking for the ball deep or infield, which they often do.

Paul McDonough, Miami’s Sporting Director, said last week that they had serious conversations with two coach candidates and that they won’t hire someone unless it is the perfect fit. He said MLS experience was not mandatory.

“MLS experience is not a hard-fast requirement; but if we brought a coach in who did not have MLS experience, then we’d certainly understand there’s a void there and add MLS experience to his immediate support staff,” McDonough said.


Continue reading Shortlist Of Head Coaching Candidates at Inter Miami CF

¡ENFIN, YA TENEMOS NOMBRE!

Miami, 8 de septiembre de 2018, por Kenneth Russo, Esq.

Fútbol Miami has revelado su nombre oficial esta semana, y es un nombre que será grande en el mundo del deporte más hermoso del mundo.

Da la bienvenida al:

Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami

www.mlssoccer.com/post/2018/09/05/mls-miami-expansion-team-unveils-name-crest