Wandering to Titles – Third Summer Transfers (Pre-Season) Episode 26

If you’ve missed an episode, why not take a look at my Episode Guide. Here you will find all the episodes of this story all in one place.

Welcome back to my Football Manager 2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers Story.

Season 3, Episode 26

This summer’s transfer window will undoubtedly be long and arduous. We have a fair few players with release clauses in their contracts, (Neves £140m, Jota £89m, van de Beek £75m) and should any teams come in for them close to the end of the window, we may have a hard time trying to replace them.

As mentioned in the previous episode, Brexit has come and gone. We are now limited to 17 foreign players in our league registration.

This change does not apply to current foreigners in the squad, however we must be cautious of this going forward. A strong youth academy will be needed.

This Brexit rule changes also comes with a 2nd change. A foreign player without a wage of £8,000 p/w cannot be registered. While this is more limiting to those further down the table and divisions, this prevents us from grabbing young talent who are yet to develop, unless we loan them straight out.

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Main Window Goals

Our squad is in good shape at the moment. We have young players who are only getting better and better each season.

My main goal however is to replace Doherty with a first team right wing-back. He’s missed far to many games so far in my tenure as manager, and he’s closing in on 30 years old. It will be sad to see him leave as he’s been with the club since the 2010/11 season when bought for a measly £75k.

Other sub-goals (if the need arises) are to find a ready-made striker who can increase our scoring chances in front of goal and a centre back – but only if they surpass everyone else at the club in terms of talent.

As always I will be on the look out for young English talent to supplement our youth teams. It’s going to be a lot harder now these Brexit rules are in place. Everyone will be wanting to keep their home-grown talent.


We started off the summer with Doherty requesting to leave, believing that he has achieved everything he can at the club.

I wonder if he’s been spying on my meetings with my assistant manager, but nevertheless, I happily obliged.

Not a moment later, he gets injured on international duty for 6-7 weeks. I can’t quite believe it. I pray this doesn’t affect his ability to seal a transfer.

If he stays or goes, I will be trying to get a right back in. I’ve been patient enough I feel, and it’s time for some fresh blood there.

BOUGHT: Erling Haaland (ST) £25m (£30m)

Well, I said I wanted a ready-made striker. He may not have the experience possibly required, but he has all the attributes to make him a world superstar.

Still at only 20 years old, he has the world at his feet. A £110m release clauses sits in his contract, but that’s nothing to be worried about. I’m happy we’ve got our man and I hope he hits the ground running.

SOLD: Raul Jimenez (ST) £30m – Huddersfield

While I am sad to see Jimenez go as he was such a force for me in our first season, it’s just a no-brainer to effectively swap Jimenez for Haaland.

Newly promoted Huddersfield are keen to show they mean business and were happy to part with £30m. Jimenez is 30 now and has a good few years left, but we have an entire decade left with Haaland before he reaches Jimenez’s age.

Cutrone and Jota are still here to provide a fantastic partner for him.

SOLD: Matt Doherty (RB) £19.25m – Tigres UANL

To my surprise, Mexican team Tigres UANL came in for Doherty with an offer of £15m. I negotiated up to £19.25m, and he was on his way.

It’s a career path I would have never of expected for Doherty, but I wish him well. He will be a star man for their team, I’m sure of it. We received a heft chunk of money for a 29-year old who is injury prone, and who is currently injured. Bizarre.

BOUGHT: Kevin Mbabu (RB) £28.5m – Dortmund

As soon as our RB leaves, another joins. Welcome, Kevin Mbabu.

I really like the look of Mbabu. He has exceptional pace and stamina to contend with the demands of my tactic, while also having the defensive and crossing ability to potentially be a real thorn in my opponents side.

SOLD: Leander Dendoncker (CM) £15m – Zenit

While I had Dendoncker down for more minutes this season with the release of Moutinho, he did have a year left in his contract and sat on a hefty wage of £75k p/w. Far too much who will only be utilised as a squad player.

Zenit came knocking with a £15m offer. I was happy to take this, providing I had someone lined up to replace him.

BOUGHT: Sean Longstaff (CM) £8.5m – Newcastle

That replacement was in the form of young Englishman Sean Longstaff.

Admittedly, not the most exciting signing, but Dendoncker was on such a hefty wage (£75k p/w) and with 11 months left on his contract, it was high time he left.

Sean will provide a similar role in the squad to Dendoncker, while being home-grown, younger and on a far smaller wage. Ideal business.

Summer Window Round-up

The summer window is finally closed. We managed to keep our star players while replacing those who left for upgrades.

I was happy with my squad prior to the window, but I was happy to listen to offers if the right money was coming in. We have a good balance of players in all positions so if any members left, direct replacements would be found first.

We brought in more than we shelled out. Every player that left for cash was replaced, with the exception of Rafa Mir who at 24 had only played 2 games for Wolves, and it didn’t look like he would get many more chances. A nice £17m sum was more than enough to take him off my hands.

It’s sad to see Moutinho leave, but his legs are just gone. He doesn’t have the raw power anymore to compete in the Premier League. He now plays his trade in Qatar.

We did have to fend off a few bids for our stars players.

PlayerBidding TeamOfferAction
Chris MephamManchester City£40mDeclined
Chris Mepham Chelsea£41mDeclined
Chris MephamChelsea£64mDelayed
Diogo JotaRB Leipzig£65mDeclined
Donny va de BeekRB Leipzig£42mDeclined

I never had in mind to sell Mepham until Chelsea came in with an improved offer of £64m. An incredible fee considering just two seasons ago we bought him for £17.75m.

I delayed the offer while I looked for a replacement. There wasn’t much out there on the market that we could attract. Mepham is on a smallish wage (£46.5k), and I feel I would be overpaying for anyone that came in.

Jerome Onguene was the only potential replacement I really found. He had a £17.5m release clause from Red Bull Salzburg. It’s a shame PSG were also interested in him. I offered him a far better contract, but he opted for the French champions. He took the easy route. A squad player in a PSG side while I offered him an important role in my side.

This was my problem I thought. We didn’t have the pulling power to get a proper replacement – so I declined the offer from Chelsea. We can’t weaken ourselves.

To even more confirm my belief’s about pulling power, Chelsea went on to buy long-term target Ben Godfrey from Norwich for £69m. They are not even in any European competitions this season, and they’re spending money like that. We cannot compete with that at this current time.

Liverpool continues to add to their superstar squad. Kai Havertz joins them this season while Jadon Sancho returns to Manchester City to replace the departing Bernado Silva.

With the addition of Brexit, we need to make sure we’re in tip-top shape to develop young talent.

I asked the board to improve our club’s youth facilities, and they happily agreed. Another string to our bow once that is complete.

Pre-Season Fixtures

We had a pretty standard pre-season. I didn’t care about results, I just wanted the fitness levels to be correct.

As expected results. We beat Panathinaikos and Fenerbahce far more convincingly than I thought we would, but you can’t read too much into pre-season fixtures. That’s just sets a dangerous level of complacency.

Start of the Season

The start of the season is finally upon us. I cannot wait to get started. We’ve recruited well, and I hope all our new additions can integrate themselves well into the team and tactics.

Bruno Fernandes broke a rib in pre-season so will miss the first week or two of the season.

Here is a quick overview of what the board expects from me in our competitions this season. All fair expectations if I’m being honest.

Scouts will be hard at work to unearth some home-grown talent. These players are going to be costing a premium now – more so than they already were. The entire country needs to recruit young English blood.

While it’s fantastic news for the England international side, it’s a pain for every domestic team.

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