the French transfer window caught by the coronavirus

Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga in training, July 1, 2020.

The practice has become common in club communications departments. Until the transfer market closes, it is often necessary to urgently retouch the official photo of the team in order to incorporate the new kid or remove the last party. With the Covid-19, this shot is likely to reflect even less the reality of the workforce already likely to vary until the last minute when the season had started. Usually set for August 31, the closing of the transfer market should be postponed to October 5 this year.

Beyond a simple photo editing, the coronavirus deeply touches the transfer window of French football. To start with a de facto mismatch with its neighbors and competitors. When Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 canceled their end of season in late April, the major foreign championships all resumed after two to three months of forced cessation.

To take account of this dissonance, the Professional Football League (LFP) first opened a hexagonal transfer window from June 8. A unilateral decision which caused an ubiquitous situation for the whole of tricolor football. Because of this early opening, France has been ordered by FIFA to pause its market between July 10 and August 10, not to exceed a period of 12 weeks for national transfers. Its clubs will be able to continue negotiations, register the signature of new players, but these will not obtain their license until the reopening of the talks.

Ignition delay

Agent of footballer since 2015, Jérôme Lancery already observes the effects of this gap compared to the other championships. “The market is not moving much yet. I’m in charge of a young and promising Ligue 2 striker, Moussa Djitté, who should be in high demand in Spain or Germany. As these championships have resumed, they are waiting to finish their season, he gives as an example. France is a big step ahead by having finished earlier, but cannot take advantage of it. “

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His colleague Frédéric Guerra, more experienced, draws the same observation on the apathy of the period, even if he is optimistic in the medium term. “The economy has lagged, but does not stop there. I was in Rennes and I know for example that the club has important offers for Eduardo Camavinga. When the big clubs are going to move on big transfers, things will be done. “

Within clubs, the speech is identical. “We are going to be on a transfer window longer than expected. We will have to adapt to championships that do not have the same dates ”, warns Grégory Lorenzi, sports director of the Stade Brest. The strong man of Breton recruitment refuses to undergo this balance of power. And intends to resist the traps of too late sales, facilitated by the financial power of large foreign displacements. “The club remains the only decision maker to sell or not, even if some people need it more than others. We can set a deadline after which a player can no longer leave ”, he says.

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