Paul Conolly looks at the buying power of big name managers in the game.
In a week that has seen the naming of yet another manager due to take up occupancy in the hot seat at Stamford Bridge, former Chelsea midfielder Mohammed Salah has explained why he eventually chose the Blues over Brendan Rogers’ Liverpool.
The Egyptian speedster revealed in an interview with that a personal phone call from none other than Jose Mourinho swayed his heart, after admitting to being set on a move to Liverpool. This came in a period when Liverpool missed out on several big name targets, who chose to join clubs with more money perhaps, but also with more established managers. Alexis Sanchez joined Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, Diego Costa, Willian and Mohamed Salah joined Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, while Heinrikh Mkhitaryan joined now Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund.
While none of these players ever cited working with Brendan Rogers as a contributing factor for not joining the Reds, bar perhaps Nuri Sahin who left the Reds after four months, it is clear that it played a part. For Liverpool it was not a matter of a lack of funds, they spent hundreds of millions of pounds in the Brendan Rogers era, yet missed out on nearly all of their biggest targets. Yes, perhaps the infamous transfer committee had its own failings, but the simple fact of the matter is that the draw of playing at Anfield was not enough to usurp working under a Brendan Rogers.
It is a sad tale for the modern British manager. They just do not have the clout in the transfer market of a proven European name.
With Jurgen Klopp in charge at Anfield, the Reds are already being linked with, and not unrealistically too, the likes of Mario Gotze and Neven Subotic. Players want to work with the Klopps of this worlds. It will be frightful prospect for the rest of the league when Pep Guardiola’s buying power his reputation brings him is combined with the monumental Manchester City coffers. Antonio Conte as well will be a massive draw card to Chelsea, especially considering the fact he has Russian billions backing him.
Louis Van Gaal was able to secure some incredible deals in his first season at Old Trafford, despite not having the Champions League as a bartering tool. Granted, some of those moves, namely Angel Di Maria, failed; the fact of the matter is the Red Devils were still able to sign one of the hottest prospects in the world at the time.
With players of the ilk of Zlatan Ibrahimovic already declaring their interest in the Premier League next season, and links to the likes of Paul Pogba, the Premier League looks to be recovering some of its attractiveness to big names, that had been dwindling of late.
It just goes to show that big name players are not only attracted by bumper contracts, but also their belief that they can improve and grow and a desire to work under their new managers.
There are some very exciting times ahead with squad overhauls looking likely at Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and perhaps Manchester United. We can have no doubt that the coming summer will be one of, if not the biggest spending summer in the history of the Premier League, with some massive names sure to be arriving on English shores.