As we draw closer to ‘silly season’ every Tom, Dick and Harry becomes an ITK on social media. It gains people followers, causes a stir and raises the hopes of vulnerable users.
It doesn’t necessarily take a transfer window to inflict speculation on Manchester United or other clubs in the elite bracket. All year round we see exclusives and agents getting hot under the colour flirting their clients around Europe like fresh meat.
Nowadays it’s simply apart of the game and for upcoming talent, specifically in South America, it gets their name on the map.
A scout that works at Arsenal gave me some insight into how football agents and co work with unestablished clients in the beautiful game.
The first thing that has to happen is the player needs to be someway decent.
From there an agent will call several scouts and let them know that they have a player that is doing alright and gathering stream.
If a scout comes to watch the player, even better. An agent can then leverage that and call the press in their own country first to begin building hype around the player.
Those [stories] usually hit social media these days, someone translates and you see it in the native language first – ‘player X being tracked by Chelsea’.
The local stories will usually have quotes from family members and the player as well (‘it has always been a dream of mine to play in Europe, England’ – a country where money is to be made).
The tabloids will pick it up and they’ll run with it in the ‘destination country’. They likely will never have heard of the player or kid, but they of course don’t want to miss out.
Lastly, everyone gets ecstatic that their club is going to sign ‘Player X’ though they’ve never heard of them. Then everyone is super disappointed that they club didn’t sign that player if it doesn’t work.
If the season isn’t successful they will blame it on the club for not signing him when they ‘had a chance’.
Although this may not be news to some of you, keep note. It happens regularly.
Moving on, reports circulated Friday evening when one Twitter user uploaded pictures of Ed Woodward meeting Jose Mourinho and Petr Cech’s agent at the hotel believed to be the Bulgari in London.
As a wary reporter, double checking facts to make information stand is key. Otherwise you are feeding people with bullshit and your reputation as a journalist goes out the window. For obvious reasons, the hotel in question was unable to confirm these photos were took from their hotel reception and whether any of the people involved were guests on the given date.
The reason I enquired is these photos could have been backdated and shared throughout social media to send vulnerable people into a frenzy. Enough of that happens and will continue to do so all summer – satisfying odd windup merchants that could be on the other side of the world i.e. nowhere near where the photo or meeting in question took place.
I’m not doubting that the meeting took place on Friday. It was brought to our attention last week that United had held talks with Cech’s representatives and the club were happy for David de Gea’s agent, Jorge Mendes, to find out.
It was a plan set by the club to see if they could quickly tie strings and keep hold of their current No.1. If that doesn’t happen, the club may still take Cech, who is currently playing second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois at Chelsea.
If David de Gea leaves Manchester United for Real Madrid would you take Petr Cech as our new main goalkeeper?
After a second fantastic season between the sticks at United it’s unfortunate that Spanish Dave looks to be moving on. At Old Trafford last Sunday it sounded as if many fans were singing their goodbye to the former Atletico Madrid graduate.
Is there much hope in keeping hold of a player that wants to move on? Liverpool’s former players and fans have been asking the same question this week following unsurprising reports that Raheem Sterling wants out.
To prove my point above it took hours for United to allegedly show interest in the England international, who I for one, do not want anywhere near Old Trafford.
Not only have we recently announced the signing of Dutch prospect Memphis Depay, but Sterling currently finds himself at a crossroad – the new Eden Hazard or Aaron Lennon.
For the money being demanded by Sterling’s knob of an agent I would prefer not to take such a risk.
Update: It has been confirmed that it was not Petr Cech’s agent pictured. No surprise. Don’t believe everything you see on Twitter.