The Road to Season 3 [2018/9]
Transfers In (£74m+)
Transfers Out (£75m+)
Team Training Schedule (Season 3)
1. Week commencing 25 June 2018 > Fitness (Low) + Match Training (Minimal).
2. Week commencing 2 July 2018 > Fitness (Average) + Match Training (Moderate).
3. Week commencing 9 July 2018 > Fitness (High) + Match Training (Moderate).
4. Week commencing 16 July 2018 > Team Cohesion (High) + Match Training (High).
5. Week commencing 23 July 2018 > Ball Control (Average) + Match Training (Very High).
6. Week commencing 30 July 2018 > Tactical (High) + Match Training (Very High).
7. Week commencing 6 August 2018 > Balanced (High) + Match Training (Very High).
· Until Tactical Familiarity of any new players is up to speed > Balanced (High) + Match Training (High).
· Then until the start of February 2019 > Balanced (High) + Match Training (Moderate).
· Then until the end of the season > Balanced (Average) + Match Training (High).
Squad Numbers by XI
First XI (£243m)
Second XI (£137.5m)
In Reserve & Marinating Youth
· Straight after reviewing my own team I agree terms with Manchester City for the transfer of Nigerian striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, who agrees to sign with me. The fee? £25.5 million [potentially rising to £42 million].
· Kai Havertz wins VDV Newcomer der Saison and a place in Elf des Jahres. He joins Kevin Volland in the VDV version of the same. Richly deserved Kai!
o He celebrates by making Germany’s Russia 2018 World Cup Squad.
· We’re off to Trento, Italy for our training camp.
· I have released a lot of expiring scouts as well as recruiting one or two new ones. I don’t need that many as I know what I’m doing in terms of recruitment in the short term. The same goes for Physios.
· In terms of coaching – I have again got the board to expand the Coaching team. This time I’d like to enhance the Under 19 Coaching pool although I have also found the time to recruit highly rated Portugese Goalkeeping Coach, Hugo Oliveira, from Everton.
o Alex Brunner joins the Goalkeeping Coaches with David Thiel released from his contract.
· Kai Havertz makes his Germany debut coming off the bench in a 5-1 win over Venezuela. He promotes me as instrumental in this. Bless!
· The first attempt at procurement of a Leverkusen player comes from France as Lyon make what I would describe as a derisory bid for Pione Sisto. No - £28 million will do the trick though.
· Bernd Leno came to see me and said he wanted to join Dortmund. I’d be willing to sell him as I’d previously stated and he agreed with my £28 million valuation so we’ll see. Marian Prinz could be the new No. 1 at BayArena.
· Nightmare! Fußball-Bundesliga has lost a Champions League place after Germany fell down the rankings. It means finishing third will mean a play-off. Guess I better try and win this thing then, eh?
· Tin Jedvaj wants to leave amid interest from Atletico Madrid. We have a terse encounter where I don’t want to sell him and he doesn’t like it.
o I offer him to all clubs at his clause; we’ll see if anyone will pay it.
o Virgil Van Dijk has been made available for transfer @ £33 million…Hmm.
· League fixtures are out for Season 3 and…we open away at FC Bayern!
· Prestige friendlies against the big three of Spanish football [Atletico, Barcelona and Real] are secured as well as inviting Dortmund over to have a look at the players they want to buy next. J L
· I secure a 1 year contract extension for Joel Abu Hanna. He’ll go out on loan again this season and will continue to try and impress.
· Kelechi Iheanacho completes his big money move to Bayer 04 Leverkusen. I have high hopes for this exciting, potentially world class striker: -
· Dortmund’s initial offer for Bernd Leno is not £28 million therefore it is not accepted. I have told them what I want, explicitly.
· Mahmoud Dahoud released by Gladbach on a free? Should I? Maybe. Could I? Yes. Where would he play though? Instead of Kampl who you could then sell. Hmm…
o I agree terms so we’ll see if he gets a better offer.
· Moving quickly worked as I secure the free transfer signing of Mahmoud Dahoud on decent terms. I will wait to see what happens with Leon Bailey before deciding whether to offer Kevin Kampl out like a sacrificial lamb [Kampl could potentially move to backup Left Wide Midfielder, Sisto into the first team]. Welcome to Mahmoud Dahoud: -
· Julian Baumgartlinger suffers a double hernia [ouch!] and is ruled out for 6-8 weeks.
· Real Madrid whelp on their friendly but I secure Juve (Juve! Juve!) as their replacement. An omen for tonight?
· I’d forgotten but Sam Schreck is actually on a 18 month loan at FC Ingolstadt 04 so will play all season with them in Fußball-Bundesliga which will be great for his development.
· Tomás Conechny agrees to join Asociación Atlética Argentinos Juniors on a 2 year loan deal. The combination of playing regularly and being restored to his native environment will hopefully mean that the player I get back is closer to the Chelsea one in my preceding database with Rovers, Blackburn.
· Daniel Nesseler returns to Kaiserlautern for another (12 month) shot at locking down the Right Full Back role that I am determined to shoehorn him into. Get. In. There. Daniel.
· Borussia Dortmund no longer appear to be in for Bernd Leno. Marian Prinz will have to shelve his immediate plans to be No. 1 it seems.
· And I was just thinking – I wonder what’s happening with Leon Bailey? Manchester United is what’s happening with Leon Bailey. They have put in the £32 million required to secure his services and you know what? I wish the lad well. I can’t see them pulling out of the transfer either but as a Jamaican international I suppose Work Permits come into play.
o I’ll add him back on to my list in case it doesn’t work out.
o Pione Sisto comes into the first team, moving from reserve Left Wide Midfielder to First Choice Right Wide Midfielder. He’s been training well and I’m curious to see how well he can do compared to previous “grunty” versions of him in other Football Managers.
o Kevin Kampl gets to stay as a reserve, versatile Left Wide Midfielder.
o With Kevin Volland owning the Deep Lying Forward position and Kasper Dolberg needing to play a large percentage of games I have decided to loan out the latter pending any stupendous move for the former.
· Joel Abu Hanna is the latest young player to head out on loan and it’s another 2 year one (phwoar!); VfL Bochum the lucky recipients.
· Kelechi Iheanacho sprains his ankle in a friendly and will be out for 3-4 weeks; phew - could have been worse but he’ll have to be worked slower into the mix as I need that Tactical Familiarity.
· Chinedu Ekene will assist with Frankfurt’s attempts to right themselves after a hurtful relegation. Two years playing at Commerzbank-Arena for the young German Deep Lying Forward.
· Julijan Popovic joins SG Dynamo Dresden, a 3. Fußball-Liga team, on a season long loan. Should be a good opportunity for him to get some ‘bread and butter’ football and learn his trade.
· Tin Jedvaj whelps on his earlier outburst over a proposed transfer and agrees new terms [still reasonable at £2m p/a] on an extension. I raise his escape clause to £40 million.
· Leon Bailey completes his £32 million transfer to Manchester United after scoring his last goal (?) for us in a friendly and securing a work permit.
· I still feel I need something extra in the attacking department off the bench and investigate moves for either Maximilian Meyer of Schalke or Nadiem Amiri of Hoffenhiem.
o Looks like Hoffenheim put a £27 million clause in Amiri’s contract so he could be mine, under duress.
o Meyer will cost me more but excites me more I feel. Choices, choices.
o No. I cannot have them both. That is madness.
· Kasper Dolberg will join Hoffenheim on a season long loan to get game time. The papers are no doubt rushing to connect this and the potential Amiri deal. I couldn’t possibly comment…
· Comparing the two it seems clear that the best deal, excitement be damned, is Amiri. He’s had two seasons of top drawer displays at Hoffenheim, is on modest wages and can be secured for a reasonable fee. Assistant?! Fetch my cheque book.
o His terms aren’t too prohibitive and the only real concerns I have over the transfer is splashing £27 million up front and perhaps that his best form with Hoffenheim was at AMC and I intend to play him in various roles. This will likely reduce his consistency.
· Adrian Stanilewicz completes a season long loan move to FC Ingolstadt 04. Pleased to see the young BWM getting some Fußball-Bundesliga exposure with Maik Walpurgis’s outfit.
· Nadiem Amiri completes his £27 million deal to join Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Welcome Nadiem: -
· Amiri will compete with Pione Sisto for the Right Wide Midfield berth. The knock on consequence of this is that my reserves will be moved around and now Danny da Costa will work on his second role of Central Defender whilst Charles Aránguiz will move back to Right Full Back (as well as covering at least three other roles).
· Atakan Akkaynak is off to France for a season long loan with Nice. Again he should play lots of games which is what he needs right now as heir to the Captain Lars throne.
· No one wants Tomasz Kucz, even on a salary free loan. Odd. I’ll try offering him out on a month loan and on a rotation basis.
· Das Bayern suffer the setback of selling Polish goal machine, Robert Lewandowski, to Manchester United for £37 million. They seem to be relying on Javier Hernández as their single striker. I also note that they saw fit to bolster Dortmund by loaning them Emil Forsberg.
· Ramazan Özcan completes a move away for a nominal fee to 1.FC Magdeburg. He never complained.
· Kevin Kampl will miss 4-5 weeks with a Sports Hernia.
· Bayern open the bidding for Kevin Volland with a desultory non-negotiable fee. I’ll think you’ll find that £57 million will be what is needed; you already have £37 million from Lewandowski, you just need to find £20 million more…J
o Bayern turn their attention to Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and offer £66 million rising to £89 million. Guess they won’t be able to afford both.
· Real Madrid are lined up for a lucrative friendly after all. Tasty.
· Tomasz Kucz does eventually go out on loan – back to his native Poland with Wisla but that’s okay, first team football is all that matters right now for the young Keeps.
· Outrageous! Manchester City pay £43 million to get into negotiations (and surely purchase) my Vice-Captain, Benjamin Henrichs.
o Henrichs was willing to negotiate terms on a new contract but his wages request was far beyond anything we can offer him.
o I looked at Jeremy Toljan but wasn’t entirely convinced. It’s still not entirely out of the question but I am thinking of moving Tin Jedvaj to his native Right Full Back role and bringing in a marquee partner for Jonathan Tah.
o I agree terms with both Southampton and player for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk, I player I’d be delighted to manage, and await finalisation.
· Man City have opened negotiations over Kevin Volland now! Their initial bid of £28.5 million is rejected as I make it clear that nothing left than the £57 million clause will do. Will they bite? What is it about my players that they love so much?
· Benjamin Henrichs completes his £43 million move to Manchester City. We wish him well and have listed him in case any future opportunity for him to return presents itself.
o Kevin Volland steps up to Vice-Captain.
· Not content with just buying my Right Full Back, City are now after my Left Full Back. What is going on and will/can they pay £46 million for Sead Kolasinac? At least their interest in Kevin Volland seems to have cooled.
· Virgil van Dijk is a Bayer 04 Leverkusen player people! This is a fantastic signing: -
· Having withdrawn from a Kolasinac deal [this week] City are back in for Volland with an improved bid. This might actually happen. Say Kasper? Fancy coming back from Hoffenheim early?
· Dortmund are sniffing around Kai Havertz. No. No. No. No. No.
· Dortmund move on to sniffing around Jonathan Tah. See above.
· Man City are back in for Kolasinac – still not sure they’re willing to pay the clause.
· Elsewhere Porto move for coveted Bernd Leno (future) replacement, Predrag Rajkovic, and I agree terms to challenge him for his signature. Hope there’s time to loan him back out.
o Porto win the race. Still, should be able to buy him for a reasonable fee if the circumstances are right. Bright side – I don’t have to do another screen grab. J
· Deadline Day excitement as some big deals go through.
o Ousmane Dembélé moves to Manchester City to surely end the Kevin Volland saga positively for Leverkusen. J
o Dortmund do now have the funds to raid me for Havertz but will they balk at the £60 million fee?
o I block a move to FC Bayern for Karim Bellarabi. He is disappointed. Get on the phone and tell them to pay £30 million then Karim.
o Kevin Kampl is a big Bellarabi mate it appears. Not happy. I care so much about what he feels…
o PSG make a left field move for Wendell. A pitiful bid is rejected.
o Yannick Carrasco joins FC Bayern for £53 million. That’s another Volland pot depleted then.
o Bellarabi hands in a transfer request which I accept. Still going to be £30 million though. Hope you enjoy the bench when Iheanacho is fit.
o Napoli make a late bid for Pione Sisto but it’s weak.
Season 3 – 2018/9 – Phase 1 – First ten league games (plus cup games) – Fixtures
· Other than the starting trip to FC Bayern, the other nine Fußball-Bundesliga fixtures of the first ten look like games we can compete in. A great start and who knows? Hopefully we will not have to bed in too many new players but at least these fixtures mean we can do so with some margin for error.
Season 3 – 2018/9 – Champions League Group