Football Manager’s guide to the January transfer window
written by Michael Cage
With the January transfer window fast approaching, clubs across the country are preparing themselves for a flurry of activity.
It’s a theme that is replicated in the Football Manager game, with bosses eager to take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen their squad.
Read on as we bring you three top tips to get the most out of the January transfer window.
Preparation is key
Whether you’re looking for the best bookmaker if you want to do arbing or aiming to strengthen your shaky back four, it pays to do your homework.
Your scouts should have been out and about during the first part of the season monitoring potential targets. Make sure you are armed with in-depth knowledge of the players you believe will improve your squad.
Relying solely on a player’s attributes is a recipe for disaster. He may be injury prone, have an attitude problem or simply won’t fit into your preferred style of play.
Preparing for the January transfer window well in advance will ensure that you avoid any costly mistakes that could end up with you getting the sack.
Monitor player contracts
Make sure you are scouting for players whose contracts are expiring at the end of the season ñ this will help you pick up some real bargains.
Make an enquiry for the player to find out what fee the selling club want and then go back with a lower offer.
Don’t try to go too low, but if your offer is reasonable it is highly likely the club will accept it as they won’t want to lose the player for free in the summer.
Most players who have allowed their contracts to run down are open to a move, so they could easily push for the transfer to be completed if they fancy joining your club.
Utilise the loan market
Shelling out big money in the January transfer window doesn’t always guarantee success, so utilising the loan market can be a great way to improve your team without breaking the bank.
It can be particularly useful if you’re battling against relegation or chasing promotion, giving your team a boost ahead of the last few months of the season.
Target players with a point to prove because they’ve been getting limited game or promising youngsters who are eager to gain experience.
It’s also a good idea to consider sending any players in your own squad who are not getting as much game time as either you or they would like, as this will potentially free up finances to do more incoming deals.