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On Transfer Rumours


With it being the height of silly season (in the past week Chelsea have been connected to Oscar, Edinson Cavani, Robert Lewandowski, Andre Schurrle, Stevan Jovetic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Hulk and goodness knows who else), I think it's time for a gentle reminder of just how... let's say 'unreliable' most transfer rumours and sources are. Fortunately, Richard Whitall's here for the assist, digging up an entirely fake rumour that was deliberately planted by users on Reddit and then cited in papers.

Yeah, that's not so good. Transfer rumours, obviously, are fascinating creatures. People love to read about them -- if you're new to We Ain't Got No History this summer you probably arrived on the site thanks to our transfer coverage -- and the media loves to write about them. But they love them so much that they're willing to write down basically anything that moves, and that's a little bit weird. And sadly, people are still entirely too trusting of anything the papers write down.

So, here's some advice -- before you take a transfer rumour as gospel, consider the following factors:

  • How reliable is the source? etc aren't to be trusted; the BBC is far more reliable. Direct quotes from players and club officials are more trustworthy than assertions, and assertions are more reliable than 'we understand that...' or 'reports suggest that...'.
  • What's in it for the buyer? Know what holes a buying club is looking to fill. Have an idea of their budget for both wages and players, the style they want to play and the general strategy towards team building.
  • What's in it for the seller? Small clubs don't exist to shuttle their best players to big clubs. If, say Borussia Dortmund have Mats Hummels under contract until 2017 and are in no immediate need of money, they're not going to sell him for £20M.
  • What's in it for the player? More wages? More playing time? Nicer living conditions? A higher quality league? More chances of trophies? A player and his agent will always be looking hard at how to get the most money out of a career as possible. Moving to a bigger club and performing means an immediate pay raise and then even more money down the line.
Thinking about those things gives you your very own transfer rumour filter, enabling you to make an attempt at weeding out the nonsense. Sure, sometimes you'll be a little overly zealous pruning them off, but at least you won't be following whatever garbage the Mail's printing blindly anymore.

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