Specials markets are rife in the world of football and some of the most popular options relate to transfers. Speculating on which footballer will join which club during a particular window is great fun for the casual pundit and the instinct and knowledge that goes with it can lead to profits when choosing the odds to bet on.
If you’re considering getting involved or, if you’ve already taken the plunge in terms of transfers odds but would like to know more, please read on.
What is Player Transfer Betting?
In general terms, this kind of gambling is the act of speculating and staking a bet on a footballer’s next club. As we will see when we work through this guide, the bookmakers who get involved with these options work around two specific windows.
The European football transfer windows are set in the close season and for around a month in January. Therefore, depending on the time of year it happens to be, bettors may access the markets for the footballers’ next club after the upcoming window.
Only the bigger names tend to be covered by bets so you won’t be able to access options for every single footballer who is up for sale. The footballer will be listed and a number of interested clubs will be attached to their name. Your job is to decide which club he will join during the window and stake accordingly.
Of course, there may always be the option to request a new footballer or a club that isn’t listed. Some sportsbooks are willing to consider special bet requests so it’s a case of checking with customer services.
How to Bet on Player Transfer?
We know now the concept behind such a bet but what is the best way to approach things from your account? Some transfers may seem obvious with a footballer linked to a certain team for a number of weeks. All that needs to happen is for the parties involved to agree terms, then the footballer will complete a medical and get the deal can then get over the line.
Those developments may be easy to track but you can be certain that the odds in question won’t be that exciting. The sportsbooks will also follow the news and the events and adjust their prices accordingly.
A lot of other ‘news’ in relation to transfers is little more than gossip so how do you make an educated bet? One approach to bet could be to monitor the news reports and events over a period of time and to identify a journalist or group of writers who seem to be getting things right more often than not. You could also use internet search engines to look back over history to beef up this type of research.
If you want to become your own detective, take a look at clubs and identify what their needs might be. Manchester United had clearly needed a centre half for some time so their move for Harry Maguire in the summer of 2019 was logical when we look back at it with the benefit of hindsight.
That transfer has gone into the record books but by studying a club’s obvious needs, you can use your judgement to act in the transfer bet options in the future. For example, at the time of writing in January 2020, Tottenham Hotspur have a gap in their squad for two full backs on either flank so could that be an indicator when placing your bets?
Another option is to look at managers and see if they have a tendency to take footballers with them wherever they go. Lazy writers may be tempted to create rumours linking managers to their former players and then it’s your job to decide whether or not there is any truth behind the story.
Harry Redknapp was a great example of this and there was a running joke that the midfielder Niko Kranjcar would follow him wherever he went. With Harry now retired, there isn’t really a modern equivalent but this is an interesting theory which you may want to follow if you bet.
As a final piece of advice, take a look at clubs who tend to plunder certain sides for their footballers. A great example of this in the modern day are Liverpool who have focussed heavily on Southampton footballers in recent times – Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Virgil Van Dijk to name just three. Liverpool striker Danny Ings subsequently joined Southampton so clearly these sides like doing business together.
Those are some of our own tips for transfers bets and we recommend that you apply at least one or two of these tips on board before you part with your own money and apply it to fund bets. It’s a tricky option to nail down and this type of bet research will help you on your way.
Best Bookmakers For Betting On Football Transfers
While the practise of betting on transfers is widely popular, the list of betting sites that offer markets for customers is actually quite reduced. That doesn’t however, mean that you should just jump on the first bookie that you can find to bet – we still need competitive pricing and as many options as possible.
One of the most prominent of bookmakers in this respect is Ladbrokes. Whenever the media want to get a story on a footballer’s potential new club, they will often turn to Ladbrokes to get some quotes and to underline what the latest transfer odds happen to be. Their choices tend to back up their reputation as one of the market leaders for gambling so this is a good place with which to start.
The established football bookmakers will offer good options to bet on and along with Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral also tend to be quite active. Look out too for Betway and SportingBet who may not offer odds for every footballer’s next club but when they do declare some prices they tend to be very competitive indeed.
Another bookmaker to look for is SportNation: They will often take a slightly different approach to transfers by listing a popular club, and providing a set of players to bet on who they have been linked with in recent news reports.
As you can see, this is quite a small list and it surprises some punters to see that relatively few bookmakers get involved in transfers betting. It’s a select set of bookies that get behind this popular sector of the industry so be sure to check those names out when you come to get involved.
Top Most Expensive Transfers Of All Time
At the time of writing at the very start of 2020, the most expensive sports transfer in footballing history was that of Brazilian striker Neymar. In 2017, the footballer made the switch from Barcelona to PSG in a deal that is recorded at a staggering 222 Million Euros.
That’s an astonishing figure and one that dwarfs the one that currently occupies second place on our list. Once again, PSG were the purchases as they acquired the services of French international attacker Kylian Mbappe for 135 million Euros from Monaco. French sides may be dominating at the very top but we now switch to Spanish clubs for the next names on our list.
In 2019, Atletico Madrid made sure that they surged into the top ten list of most expensive transfers when they signed Joao Felix from Benfica for 126 Million Euros. The 20 year old forward had only enjoyed one full season in the Portuguese top flight and in his early days with Atleti, Felix struggled to replicate his scoring form.
The Madrid club needed to move for a big-name striker as they had lost the prolific Antoine Griezmann to rivals Barcelona. The French international forward left Atletico for Barcelona in a fee worth 120 Million Euros and that puts him in fourth place on the list. The other footballer to have cost that fee of 120 Million Euros is Philippe Coutinho who moved from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2018. Incredibly, Barca then loaned the midfielder to Bayern Munich which seems a strange move considering that he had cost so much money.
The remaining in the top ten of most expensive transfers are Ousmane Dembele, Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. The last three – Hazard, Ronaldo and Bale – all cost 100 Million Euros when they moved from their previous clubs.
Those are all incredible sums and those are the types of players who will continue to feature heavily in player transfer specials bet options. Will that amazing fee for Neymar ever be broken? It’s clearly possible but irrespective of final fees, such football bets will be available throughout the season and beyond.
Transfer Window Dates
In general, there are two fixed time windows where clubs can buy and sell their players. The exact dates will differ slightly but this will be the case for the big leagues and their events across the world. In Europe, these are commonly known as the summer and winter windows with the summer option tending to be the busiest period as sides look to complete their sports squads ahead of the new season.
During these windows, player specials will be at their busiest although they will be open all year round. Those are the general times of the year that you can expect the windows to be available but, if you are going to take betting on transfers seriously, we recommend that you identify the exact dates that are coming up.
In England for example, clubs recently took a decision to end the window before the new season got underway in the middle of August. Prior to this, it was possible to make a sale or purchase up until the end of the month but the clubs decided that this was causing too much disruption and they wanted to get in a settled squad before a ball was kicked in anger.
That’s fine for the Premier League but remember that the wider European window will continue to stay open until the end of August at least. There is also a tendency for the window in Eastern Europe to remain open for a little longer.
It’s a similar scenario if we take a look at the winter transfer window which will usually open on January 1st each year. In theory, that window will close on January 31st but if the last day of the month falls on a weekend, we could see matters extended until the 1st or even the 2nd of February. Once again, we may also expect the window in places such as Russia to remain open for just a little longer, so punters can bet on those options as well.
Keep these points in mind as they will be an important part of your football transfer betting strategy moving forward.