5 football trades we want to see this transfer window

  • Summer transfer window has seen rising number of trades offered
  • Swap deals unusual in football
  • 5 swaps which work in theory
Three men on the move?
Three men on the move? / Ian MacNicol/Getty Images, Alex Pantling/Getty Images, Rene Nijhuis/MB Media/Getty Images

The lesser-spotted football trade is making a roaring comeback.

They remain such a rarity in this sport because of all the moving parts and all of the agreements needed to thrash deals out. It's difficult to pull a pure trade deal off with no cash involved, but that doesn't mean they're impossible.

We at 90min have tried our best all week to workshop up some semi-realistic trades which only involve players. No cash, no extras, nothing else. For the trade to work, we will be judging these factors:

  • Finances - Do the players exchanged match up in lieu of transfer fees? Can both clubs absorb the wages in the deal? If not, would the original side be happy subsidising that salary?
  • Willingness - Would you be able to talk the players involved into the deal?
  • Leverage - If a player is into the last year of his contract and is resisting a new one, how much room for manoeuvre does his club have in negotiations?

Let's tuck in.

Eberechi Eze to Arsenal

Eberechi Eze, Emile Smith Row
Eze and Smith Rowe have a similar skillset / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images, MB Media/Getty Images
  • Arsenal receive: Eberechi Eze
  • Crystal Palace receive: Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson

Spoiler alert - this is my favourite trade. It makes almost too much sense.

Arsenal are one of several top Premier League sides interested in Eberechi Eze, and it just so happens they have the exact kind of player-only package that Crystal Palace may be tempted in taking back.

Emile Smith Rowe has proven that when given consistent game time, he can provide the output the Eagles would miss from Eze. And that's even before you get to their similar streets-won't-forget playing styles.

Unfortunately for the Gunners, Smith Rowe isn't the asset that he was two years ago. Arsenal would need to throw in more players.

Recent reports suggest they value striker and long-term Palace target Eddie Nketiah at close to £50m. But let's be real, guys. He's going in the deal.

If that's still not enough, then Reiss Nelson is also available. Three players who are still young but have plenty of experience and are chomping at the bit to play more could be yours, Palace.

Luis Diaz to PSG

Luis Diaz, Xavi Simons
Not quite like-for-like / Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images, Alex Grimm/Getty Images
  • PSG receive: Luis Diaz
  • Liverpool receive: Xavi Simons

Luis Diaz's Liverpool future has been called into question by reports from all over the world, with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona the two destinations most often put forward.

But for Barca, all of the players that Liverpool would want back in a trade should be considered untouchable, which takes our search to PSG.

That's where it gets interesting. In Xavi Simons, PSG essentially have a frozen asset - if they either sell him or reintegrate him into their own first XI, then they will owe a significant sum of money to his former club PSV Eindhoven.

PSG may still have to cough up to PSV someway somehow if they traded Simons away, but it might be in their interest to explore what's out there.

Liverpool, entering a new era under Arne Slot, would have another exciting midfielder/forward hybrid to mould into what they want.

This deal isn't quite on the Eze level of my satisfaction-meter, but it's pretty close.

Victor Osimhen to Chelsea

Victor Osimhen, Romelu Lukak
Osimhen and Lukaku's destinies seem linked / Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images, Alex Grimm/Getty Images
  • Chelsea receive: Victor Osimhen
  • Napoli receive: Romelu Lukaku, Benoit Badiashile, Cesare Casadei

Chelsea want Victor Osimhen, and Napoli (or at least Antonio Conte) want Romelu Lukaku. We have the framework for a deal straight off the bat.

That's not enough on Napoli's end. They aren't going to give up a striker with a £100m release clause for one that can't hit a barn door at the moment, even if Conte asks really nicely.

Last summer, Chelsea would have let Napoli have their way with stripping apart the veterans in their squad to add as makeweights in this transaction. Sadly, there aren't as many candidates anymore.

A fun move would include Raheem Sterling, but whether he'd be keen on the move or either side would be able to take on his huge pay packet is questionable, especially if Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
is staying put. Ben Chilwell might fulfill Conte's wish for a new wing-back but may leave Chelsea short.

Conte, during his time at Tottenham Hotspur, was said to be a fan of Benoit Badiashile, and it just so happens that Napoli are looking to strengthen at centre-back. Welcome to the deal, Big Ben.

That's still not enough, but Chelsea don't have a lot more to add. Cesare Casadei remains a hot prospect back in his home country, and so sending him to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona may be enough for Napoli to have a good, long think about this one.

Alphonso Davies to Real Madrid

Alphonso Davies, Andriy Luni
Davies could head to Spain / Omar Vega/Getty Images, Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images
  • Real Madrid receive: Alphonso Davies
  • Bayern Munich receive: Fran Garcia, Andriy Lunin

We needed to try an Alphonso Davies trade. It would have been rude not to.

Here we have the first instance of a player holding his club to ransom. If Davies doesn't agree to a new contract, he could walk away from Bayern Munich for nothing next summer.

It's time for Florentino Perez to do some fleecing.

Who do Real Madrid have to offer though? Their squad is quite thin as it is. They would have to hope Bayern like some of their squad players.

Brahim Diaz would ordinarily make for a fine centrepiece, but he'd have the same problems trying to start in Munich as in Madrid.

Bayern would also be on the lookout for another left-back. Luckily, Madrid have one ready for them - the exciting, if a little naive, Fran Garcia. Ferland Mendy is off limits, let's not go crazy.

Andriy Lunin, meanwhile, has also been eyed as a backup and potential long-term successor to Manuel Neuer in the past. Take this now or watch Davies leave for zilch, Bayern.

Jadon Sancho to PSG

Jadon Sancho, Manuel Ugart
Sancho's Man Utd career is likely over / Alex Pantling/Getty Images, Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images
  • PSG receive: Jadon Sancho
  • Man Utd receive: Manuel Ugarte

Days were spent agonising over who would want to take on Jadon Sancho and who United would be happy to take back. A few deals with Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur were floated, but didn't satisfy everyone.

Thankfully, it seems that United are in the market for a £43m PSG midfielder - Manuel Ugarte. As we've established, Les Parisiens need a new winger and Sancho needs a new club.

The transfer fees match and PSG could pay Sancho the wages he would likely want. This is the best move we could theoretically come up with for him and it actually makes some sense. It's this or some grovelling to Erik ten Hag, buddy.