Cliché of the week: “Transfer saga of the summer”

Thomas Browne revels in the excitement of the opening of the summer transfer window

Photo: YouTube.com

After Arsenal’s victory in the FA Cup last weekend you may think the season has ended.

But for people like myself, the real excitement has only started.

That’s right, it’s transfer season.

Already we’ve had an amuse-bouche in the form of Bernardo Silva’s impending mega-money move to Manchester City, with the City board prudently wrapping up their first signing before the window even officially opened on 1 June.

But where’s the fun in that? Where’s the excruciatingly drawn-out string of back page gossip-column headlines? Where’s the incessant reels of Sky Sports News updates for every million pounds closer the desiring club get to the coveted player’s buy-out clause?

What I want is a transfer saga.

The transfer saga, as we all know, is the pinnacle of any transfer window. It’s what gets reporters’ pens flowing. It’s what gets devoted fans down to the gates of the club training complex to harass and harangue any pundit trying to cover the story.

Every summer has their defining saga: 2016’s was Paul Pogba’s long, sought-after return to Manchester United. 2014 saw football’s ravenous enfant-terrible Luis Suarez deliberate for months before making the incredibly difficult decision to swap Merseyside for sunny Catalonia. And no-one can forget 2013, the transfer saga to end all transfer sagas—Tottenham’s seemingly interminable negotiations with Real Madrid over Gareth Bale for a then-world record fee, which almost caused Jim White to wet himself with excitement in the studio.

Who will it be this year? Antoine Griezmann seems to be playing all the right mind games for a will-they-won’t-they nail-biter this summer, but we will have to wait for the mystical crystal-ball that is the Sky-Pad, the fount of transfer knowledge, to reveal everything come 31 August.

And for this writer, at least, that moment surely can’t come soon enough.