The January transfer window closes next week, but plenty of deals are still expected to close across Europe over the coming days.
Premier League clubs have been the most active in the winter market, spending huge sums to sign the players they want.
Some transfers, such as Liverpool’s £37m capture of Dutch international Cody Gakpo, have been completed with less fuss.
Others, like current Chelsea star Mykhailo Mudryk, are taking weeks to settle before a deal can be officially agreed.
So why the difference and how exactly is a transfer agreed in football between two clubs? talkSPORT.com takes a look…
What is a football transfer and how does it happen?
Simply put, a transfer in football sees a player under contract with one club move to another.
The most common way to do this is for a representative of an interested club to make a formal request to another team whose potential target is registered.
If the club is open for sale, a transfer fee will be negotiated – usually through intermediaries – which constitutes financial compensation for the selling club.
Transfer fees can be determined by a variety of factors ranging from their perceived ability, current contract length, or potential future value.
If a fee is agreed between the two teams, the player in question is allowed to discuss the personal terms with the buying club.
The player’s agent will be responsible for presenting their applications to a senior member of the buying club’s board of directors, who could be the chief executive or director of football.
Assuming the negotiations go smoothly, the player will usually, but not always, speak to their new manager to find out about their role and style of play, etc.
The final hurdles will see the player arrive at his new club’s training ground for a medical and to do interviews and club media.
For international players moving to England, a work permit will need to be granted by the FA.
Once this is settled, the last step for the players will be to sign the papers but, as was the case with Dan James’ doomed move to Leeds in 2019, a transfer can still fall through.
The Welsh winger had a medical at Elland Road and even showed off a Leeds shirt before Swansea pulled the plug in the eleventh hour due to their dissatisfaction with the structure of the deal and he instead moved to Manchester United.
To register a new player in the English top flight, for example, clubs must send all transfer documents to the Premier League, which are then checked and finally approved.
What is a “tapping up” and what is a transfer request?
The practice of “tapping up” is frequent in transfers despite the fact that it is prohibited.
This involves buying clubs by directly contacting a potential new signing without first receiving clearance from the player’s current club.
Arsenal have been accused of contacting Mudryk without permission from the CEO of Shakhtar Donetsk ahead of his move to Chelsea.
A transfer request is an official document submitted either by a player or on his behalf, with the aim of forcing a transfer to another club.
This usually happens when they’ve been notified of a new team’s interest via a tap or an official request is turned down by their current team.
A transfer request may be duly ignored by a club, but it is seen as a drastic final message from the players to make their desire to move public.
What is a Market Sheet?
The January 2023 transfer window closes on deadline day – Tuesday, January 31.
Clubs have until 11 p.m. to register new players, but there is a loophole to secure additional deals after the deadline.
Between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., Premier League clubs can complete and send a signed deal sheet which will give them two extra hours until 1 a.m. to fully sanction a transfer.
A deal sheet informs the Premier League that a transfer has been agreed between two clubs, but additional time is needed to draft the paperwork and then exchange fully signed paperwork.
Keep up to date with all the latest news, rumors and gossip with our live transfer blog
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