Adam Lallana should be one of the summer’s most-coveted players as an agent has predicted that “Bosmans could have their heyday” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The implications of the suspension of football are wide-ranging, and in particular economical as clubs face a difficult period having lost significant revenue.
Most clubs will be putting transfer negotiations on hold, as Liverpool are reported to have done, due to the uncertainty of the market at this stage.
Players’ values could rise or fall dramatically, with it more likely that the clubs in a healthier position financially can ‘benefit’ from the situation as Financial Fair Play rules are relaxed.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already admitted that, with Man United “well off,” they could “exploit” the lack of stability at other sides to secure their targets ahead of 2020/21.
And in an interesting piece from The Athletic—taking the agents’ view of the current climate, and how it could influence the transfer market in the short term—it is argued that free transfers could be more valuable than usual.
“There was so much money out there before that clubs would pay for the player they really wanted,” one agent explains.
“They wouldn’t take a Bosman because he’s a Bosman—he had to be good enough. But this summer it might switch around.
“Now, because of this crash, we don’t know where the transfer market is, so Bosmans might be more valuable than at any time since Steve McManaman’s days. Bosmans could have their heyday again.”
Of course, Lallana is certainly “good enough” for the clubs already linked with a possible move, with Leicester his most likely destination prior to the shakeup.
But the changing market could see more sides approach the 31-year-old’s representatives—he is a proven talent, cherished by Jurgen Klopp, who has been a key player for Liverpool over the past six years.
Securing a Bosman deal would still require signing-on and agents’ fees, which will likely rise to the millions for a player of Lallana’s reputation, but his expiring contract removes the issue of a transfer fee.
The Englishman has been touted with a move abroad, too, and this is where a major increase in interest could stem from, with a sports lawyer who works in the Premier League naming Lille, Lyon, Marseille and Ajax as clubs likely to see their players picked off by richer clubs.
“You can get two £60 million players for £30 million this summer. Leicester or Everton could not normally do that. Now they could,” he explained.
“They can say to clubs in Italy or Spain, take it or leave it, because the money isn’t coming from anywhere else.”
Lallana is expected to be retained as part of an automatic extension of contracts to the end of the delayed 2019/20 campaign, but he could already be fielding offers as he is able to speak to clubs outside of the England.
Another agent tells The Athletic that he is “already getting calls from clubs asking, ‘is he going to be a free? We’ll have him’,” and insisting that “free transfers are going to become premium players.”
The comparison to McManaman is an interesting one, as along with there being a number of similarities between Lallana and McManaman as players, the No. 20 is in a similar position in terms of his future.
While Real Madrid are unlikely to come calling, given his age, the midfielder could have emerged on the radar of a number of clubs not previously considering a deal.