How Football Agents Prepare for the Summer Transfer Window


As the longer European football summer transfer market will soon open its doors; agents, clubs, players, and fans are bracing for a whirlwind of activity. With the media frenzy and relentless rumour mills, plus the question over whether unprecedented rise of the Saudi Arabian market last year might continue in a similar vein, this summer promises to be as dramatic and exciting as ever. This blog will focus on guiding agents in best preparing for the summer transfer window, focusing on key strategies and the most important parts of operating amongst the chaos.

Research Club Needs

The first step in preparing for the transfer window is to thoroughly research the needs of various clubs. This comprehensive analysis involves several key aspects:

  1. Current Squad Dynamics: Understanding the composition and balance of a club’s current squad is crucial. This includes analysing the age, contract status, and overall performance of existing players. For example, a club with an ageing midfield might be looking to bring in younger, more dynamic players to rejuvenate that area.
  2. Recent Performance: Reviewing a club’s recent performance can provide insights into their potential needs. Analyse their standings in the league, their performance in cup competitions, and specific match statistics. For instance, if a club consistently concedes goals from set-pieces, they might be in the market for a tall, commanding central defender who excels in aerial duels.
  3. Injury History: Assessing the injury history of key players can also highlight potential areas of concern. A club plagued by injuries in a specific position may prioritise strengthening that area to ensure better squad depth and resilience.
  4. Managerial Preferences: Each manager has a distinct playing style and tactical approach, which influences the type of players they seek. Researching a manager’s past signings and tactical setups can offer clues about the kind of players they might be targeting. For example, a manager known for a high-pressing style may look for energetic, versatile forwards who can sustain high-intensity play.
  5. Financial Health and Transfer Budget: Understanding the financial health of a club, including their transfer budget and wage structure, is vital. Clubs with larger budgets will be in the market for marquee signings, while those with tighter finances might look for bargain deals, loan signings, or free agents. Accessing financial reports and keeping abreast of club announcements can provide this information.
  6. Board and Ownership Goals: The ambitions and goals of a club’s board and ownership can significantly impact transfer strategies. Clubs aiming for immediate success might be more inclined to invest heavily in established stars, whereas those focusing on long-term growth might prioritise young talents with high potential resale value.
  7. Competitive Landscape: Analysing the transfer activities and strategies of rival clubs can also inform your approach. Understanding how competitors are strengthening can highlight potential market trends and opportunities. If rival clubs are targeting similar players, this can also influence the urgency and negotiation tactics required.

For instance, if a club struggled defensively last season, this indicates a likely market for strong defenders. Delving deeper, you can identify whether they need centre-backs, full-backs, or defensive midfielders by looking at specific match reports and player performance metrics. Identifying these needs early and accurately positions your clients as potential solutions, making your proposals more appealing to clubs and increasing the likelihood of successful placements.

Identify Target Players

Once you’ve established the needs of clubs, the next step is to identify which players fit those needs. This involves a thorough examination of your current client list, evaluating each player’s position, skills, experience, and market value to see who aligns with the club’s requirements. Additionally, scouting new talent can broaden your options and provide fresh opportunities. By understanding each player’s strengths and how they match the specific demands of clubs, you can create a targeted approach that increases the chances of successful placements.

Having a well-prepared shortlist of players is crucial for capitalising on opportunities as they arise. This proactive approach allows you to act swiftly when a club expresses interest or a specific need becomes apparent. Moreover, being ready with detailed profiles and performance data of your clients enhances your credibility and demonstrates professionalism. This readiness not only facilitates smoother negotiations but also positions your agency as a reliable partner for clubs looking to make strategic signings.

Prioritise Your Clients

Assessing the current situation of your clients is a crucial aspect of transfer window preparation. This involves understanding each player’s unique circumstances, goals, and preferences. Begin by having in-depth discussions with your clients to gauge their career aspirations. Some players may be eager to move to a bigger club to compete at a higher level or to increase their market value and visibility. These players often seek opportunities in top-tier leagues or clubs with a history of competing in European competitions.

On the other hand, some players might be content with their current club but need to be prepared for pre-season and the upcoming campaign. These players may prioritise stability, development, and maintaining their form. By understanding these preferences, you can tailor your efforts accordingly. For instance, a young player seeking more game time and development might be an ideal candidate for a mid-tier club that values nurturing young talent and can offer regular first-team football. Conversely, an experienced player looking for a final career move might prefer a club that can offer a lucrative contract and the chance to win trophies. Prioritising your efforts based on these insights ensures that you can effectively support each client in achieving their career goals.

Build and Utilise Relationships

Strong relationships within the football community are invaluable assets for agents, especially during the transfer window. Networking with club managers, scouts, directors of football, and other agents can provide critical insights into potential deals and open doors for your clients. These connections offer early access to information about clubs‘ transfer strategies, budget constraints, and specific player needs. For example, a good rapport with a club manager can help you learn about upcoming vacancies or target profiles before they become public, allowing you to position your clients advantageously.

Effective networking involves continuous engagement and fostering mutual trust. Attend industry events, matches, and networking gatherings to stay connected and build new relationships. Regularly check in with your contacts, offering valuable information or assistance that benefits them. This reciprocity strengthens your professional bonds and ensures you remain a trusted figure within the community. Leveraging these connections helps you identify emerging trends and market shifts, such as clubs looking to offload players or those with a sudden financial boost. By staying ahead of the competition and understanding various clubs‘ needs, you can strategically position your clients in the best possible scenarios, enhancing their career trajectories and your reputation as a diligent and effective agent.

Monitor Market Trends

The transfer market is dynamic, with evolving trends that can significantly impact your strategy as an agent. Staying attuned to these trends is crucial for anticipating market movements and adjusting your approach accordingly. For instance, the significant spending by Saudi Pro-League clubs in the 2023 summer window had a dramatic effect on the global transfer landscape. These clubs attracted top European talent with lucrative financial packages, creating a ripple effect that forced European clubs to reconsider their own offers to compete with the financial opportunities presented in Saudi Arabia.

This trend not only shifted the balance of player movement but also impacted the strategies of European clubs, who had to navigate the dual challenges of retaining their top talents and scouting for new ones within tighter financial constraints. Additionally, the influx of star players into the Saudi Pro-League raised the league’s profile, making it a more appealing destination for players looking for both competitive opportunities and financial rewards.

Agents must stay updated on such trends to anticipate market shifts effectively. Monitoring financial reports, transfer news, and club announcements can provide valuable insights into emerging patterns. For example, a surge in investment from a particular league or region can signal a new wave of transfer activity, prompting agents to explore potential opportunities for their clients in these markets. Being proactive and adaptable in response to these trends allows agents to position their clients advantageously, ensuring they remain competitive in a constantly evolving transfer market.

By keeping on top of the market, agents can also identify new and emerging markets that might not have been traditionally considered. For example, the rising popularity of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the growing interest from Asian markets can offer fresh avenues for player placements. Staying informed about these developments helps agents broaden their horizons, diversify their strategies, and ultimately secure the best possible outcomes for their clients.

Financial Considerations

The financial landscape of football plays a significant role in how clubs operate during the summer transfer window. While top clubs may continue to spend heavily, driven by substantial revenue from broadcasting rights, sponsorship deals, and commercial activities, lower-tier clubs are more financially cautious. These clubs are focusing on free agents and lower transfer fees as they navigate tighter budgets and aim to balance their books. 

Furthermore, agents should be aware of the impact of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, which have become a significant factor in the spending habits of clubs, particularly in the Premier League. Recent sanctions against clubs like Nottingham Forest and Everton for FFP breaches have made other clubs more cautious with their spending. This caution may lead to a more restrained approach in the transfer market, where clubs are now more vigilant about staying within their financial limits to avoid penalties. As an agent, recognising these financial strategies and constraints allows you to tailor your negotiations and present deals that align with the club’s financial realities. This understanding can help you secure better opportunities for your clients by offering feasible and attractive propositions to financially wary clubs.

Know the Closing Dates

Transfer windows close at different times across various leagues. For example, the windows in Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia extend beyond those in Europe, providing additional opportunities to offload players. Being aware of these timelines allows you to strategically plan and maximise opportunities for your clients so make sure you check, particularly those relevant for your targets!


For agents, navigating the summer transfer window requires careful preparation, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of the football market’s dynamics. By researching club needs, identifying target players, prioritising your clients‘ goals, building strong relationships within the community, and staying updated on market trends and financial considerations, you can effectively manage the complexities of the transfer season. The insights and strategies outlined in this blog will help you position your clients for success, ensuring that they find the best opportunities in a competitive and ever-evolving landscape. As the transfer window progresses, remaining adaptable and proactive will be key to seizing the opportunities that arise and securing the best possible outcomes for your clients.

Stay tuned for our transfer window updates, where we’ll analyse the summer’s activity and offer insights into how this transfer window develops compared to previous years, particularly through the perspective of an agent operating within it.

by Dr. Erkut Sogut & Jamie Khan

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