Tuesday’s soccer news starts with an interesting June in the Premier League. While the action on the field shifts to national teams, those running Europe’s elite club sides need to figure out the money on an expedited schedule. That starts with the Premier League, with the summer transfer window opening on June 9. The rest of Europe’s major leagues join in on July 1. That means the time is now to work through financial realities and expectations for next season.
How to price players has already emerged as a major issue with club finances expected to drive interesting decisions during this window. Depending on which rumors seem reasonable, we could be about to see a distinct separation between some of the super clubs and everybody else. Normally, that’s most, if not all, of Europe’s elite stressing the difference in money to spend at the top of the game. That may no longer be the case for some of the biggest names in European club soccer.
While there may not be much rushing out of the gate for deals between Premier League clubs on June 9, eventually clubs will have to show their hand. That means the return of the regular business of spending at the top of the market. There’s little doubt that this season’s Champions League finalists will be at or near the top of that particular table. Chelsea and Manchester City have the money in place to do significant business.
For Chelsea, that could be a replay of what happened during last summer’s transfer window. With even the elite questioning the finances of soccer during a season that required a restart, Chelsea went to work. Right at $317m spent and just over $97k sold set the high mark. With the Champions League title, Thomas Tuchel isn’t likely to lean on the old “not my squad” excuse while pushing for a larger transfer budget. There’s no need. His proof of concept celebrated with the trophy on Saturday after just half a season in charge. With the expectations looming for 2021-22, there’s also the motivation to build a Chelsea dynasty.
Manchester City also has the willingness to spend. There are already links between elite talent and the defending Premier League champion. Manager Pep Guardiola seems interested in shifting players, with City in the position to spend to improve across the roster. Guardiola said the club “will come back stronger,” and there’s no doubting that he’s right.
In European club soccer’s latest version of normal, that could mean a handful of teams stockpiling talent. Chelsea and Manchester City are both in position to choose from the best available players. Who that might be is part of what’s dividing the elite clubs. For those facing significant financial issues, this could be a selling summer. There’s a group of clubs lining up to take advantage, potentially creating this new version of super rich vs regular rich, vs formerly rich across the top level of Europe.
Moving to the soccer news, The Athletic’s Sam Lee looks at what comes next for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The Ringer’s Brian Phillips with how Manchester City lost the Champions League. DW explains squad building for Joachim Low’s last Germany roster.
MLSsoccer’s Charles Boehm has USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter talking about Christian Pulisic in the Nations League. Goal’s Chris Burton with Sergino Dest’s situation at Barcelona. ESPN counts the trophies for USMNT players in Europe this season.
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Photo by David Klein – CSM via ZUMA Wire – ISIPhotos.com