Manchester United have been linked with Wesley Sneijder, Mario Balotelli, Rafael van der Vaart, Sami Khedira and Stephen Ireland, among others. Chelsea have been linked with Fernando Torres, Kaka, Mesut Ozil and Sergio Aguero, among others. Manchester United and Chelsea, much like Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, have yet to realise any of these deals and are yet to excite their fans with their transfers this summer. Chelsea have signed Yossi Benayoun and Manchester United have completed the signings of Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling but none of these signings have appeased their supporters. Times might be a little difficult in the rarefied realms of elite football finance, even Barcelona are in need of a bridge loan, but are Hernandez, Smalling, Benayoun, Koscielny, Chamakh and Jovanovic all the English Premierships biggest clubs can offer?
You might mention Manchester City signing Jerome Boateng and David Silva for close to £35 million but when the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham can only account for a combined net spend of £35 million themselves you know the transfer season has yet to begin. Real Madrid and Barcelona are drowning in debt but still managing to sign the types of players that impress supporters, namely Angel de Maria for close to £25 million and David Villa for around £30 million. Manchester United, by contrast, are signing the 3rd choice Mexican striker and Chelsea are signing an ex Liverpool squad player.
The English Premiership is clearly starting to lag behind in terms of glamour. In the long run this current prudence might end up serving the big English clubs well. Italian clubs no longer have the finances to compete and in Spain Real Madrid and Barcelona cannot continue spending at the current rate when each has debt obligations, running to hundreds of millions of Euros, that they have to meet. The Bundesliga is likely to be the true beneficiary eventually with each of its major clubs holding glowing balance sheets. The best players will follow the money and so it is with reason we can assume that eventually the better players in the world will start heading to Germany. As for now the transfer window has yet to truly begin.
In the USA Lebron James is courting national media coverage with everybody wanting to know which team he will sign for. In England the national media are hoping for somebody of note to sign for somebody else. Once the World Cup is over on Monday we can all hope the transfer window will begin.