Best transfer windows: Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen make Liverpool kings of the 1970s

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Real Madrid’s emphatic start to this summer’s transfer market has stolen football’s attention.

An extensive rebuild promised to returning head coach Zinedine Zidane has already seen – including deals previously agreed – more than €300 million spent on the likes of Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard, promising Eintracht Frankfurt forward Luka Jovic and emerging Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy.

There is still the promise of even more to come, with links to €150m-rated Manchester United centre midfielder Paul Pogba refusing to go away.

This splurge is sure to transform Los Blancos’ expectations after they claimed just the Club World Cup in 2018/19. But how does it compare to previous ones?

We’ve looked back through the past five decades to select the most-consequential pre-season spending sprees. Here is the pick of the 1970s:

LIVERPOOL (1977)

Key arrivals: Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish

Honourable mentions: Barcelona (1973 – Johan Cruyff, Migueli), Juventus (1974 – Sergio Brio, Gaetano Scirea), Real Madrid (1977 – Uli Stielike, Juanito), Nottingham Forest (1977 – Peter Shilton, Archie Gemmill, Kenny Burns)

Liverpool found themselves at a crossroads.

Fuelled by the goals and creativity of Kevin Keegan, years of rapid progress had culminated with the hallowed double of the First Division and European Cup in 1976/77. But the England superstar dropped a bombshell mid-season when a desire to head abroad was announced, eventually moving to big-spending West German-outfit Hamburg.

An inflection point had been reached. Fail to procure an appropriate replacement for ‘Mighty Mouse’ and they’d be left feeding on crumbs.

Under the formidable Bob Paisley’s guidance, however, they didn’t just sign a new elite forward in 1977’s summer market. They also landed in a double raid north of the border, arguably, the British Isles’ greatest-ever centre-back.

Celtic forward Kenny Dalglish and Partick Thistle defender Alan Hansen would provide the foundations for one of the game’s most dominant sides. Both would depart with major medal hauls, as players, of 20 and 23 – figures that include a trio of further European Cup victories.

The slender Hansen oozed style and composure, possessing all you’d require from a ball-playing centre-back. His relationships with Phil Thompson and Mark Lawrenson became the stuff of legend.

Dalglish would transcend even that influence to become a pivotal figure in the club’s illustrious history.

A British transfer record of £440,000 not only bought the finest striker produced by post-war Britain, it also delivered a player-manager and manager who carried on a record of success. Plus, his dignity and commitment would hold a city together in the wake of April 1989’s tragic Hillsborough disaster.

Dalglish ensured the club was represented at all of the 96 fans’ funerals and attended many of them in person.

A return to the dugout from 2011/12 ended sourly. But his colossal achievements witnessed Anfield’s Centenary Stand renamed after him in May 2017.

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Transfer predictor: James Rodriguez to Atletico Madrid is an 8 but Dani Alves to Spurs is a 5

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Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.

We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Tottenham.

JAMES RODRIGUEZ

James Rodriguez 2

Real Madrid -> €50 million -> Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid’s out-of-favour midfielder James Rodriguez could join city rivals Atletico Madrid after Bayern Munich refused to activate the purchase option on his loan deal. Esto Es Atleti claim that an agreement between the clubs is already in place and the transfer sum could exceed €50 million after add-ons.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Madrid and Bayern don’t want the player anymore but it would be absurd to label Rodriguez as anything but world class. The Colombian playmaker can comfortably start for a top European club and Atletico might just be his calling.

Diego Simeone will need more fire-power in his attacking department despite the mega purchase of Portugal wonderkid Joao Felix and the sale of Antoine Griezmann as well as Lucas Hernandez will have added plenty of money to the coffers.

Rodriguez knows the league, the city and could do well in what looks like a perfect reboot for his club career.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

There are not many forces preventing this move from materialising. Napoli were said to be in the tussle as well, but AS now report that the Italian club has pulled out. Few players in modern times have made the move between the two Madrid clubs, but Los Blancos are unlikely to turn down the opportunity to get rid of an unwanted player.

TRANSFER RATING: 8/10

KIERAN TRIPPIER

Andrew Robertson and Kieran Trippier

Tottenham -> undisclosed -> Bayern Munich

Kieran Trippier failing to build on his impressive World Cup performances from last year has resulted in Tottenham putting him up for sale in the summer transfer window. Sky Sports suggest that German giants Bayern Munich are interested in signing him as a back-up for Joshua Kimmich.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

It’s unlikely that elite clubs will approach Spurs with a bumper offer to sign Trippier, who has just endured a poor season despite Spurs’ run to the Champions League final. The England international will find that given Kimmich’s versatility, Bayern could be the one top club where he could eke out some extensive playing time.

Bayern, on the other hand, will gain a player with top-tier experience who is certainly a notch above the average level of back-up players.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Despite their €70m purchase of Lucas Hernandez, Bayern historically don’t like to splurge on players and according to reports, Trippier won’t come cheap. Transfermarkt value the 28-year-old at €35 million – which is not a small amount for a back-up player.

Besides, Bayern will clearly prioritise a winger with the departures of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, and that  transfer is likely to burn a hole in their pockets. This deal is hence unlikely to see the break of dawn unless Spurs budge from their potentially high asking price.

Sky Germany also report that Bayern Munich could sign Monaco and Germany full-back Benjamin Henrichs , who is more versatile as he is adept at playing on the left.

TRANSFER RATING: 4/10

DANI ALVES

Old, but gold: Dani Alves.

Old, but gold: Dani Alves.

Paris Saint-Germain-> Free Transfer -> Tottenham

With Trippier on the transfer list, the Champions League runners-up may need a marquee signing in the right-back position to compete in Europe again. If reports are to be believed, Spurs could also sell Serge Aurier and rope in two right-backs before the transfer window closes.

Dani Alves – who refused to extend with PSG – has been contacted, according to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

36-year-old Dani Alves was Brazil’s best player in their Copa America triumph. This should serve as conclusive proof that there is still a lot of football left in the full-back and he can still perform at the top level at a top club.

Alves’ experience could go a long way in helping Spurs to a title, or at least close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City next year. The player should have no problem moving to a top club which can genuinely contest in Europe under a competent manager in Mauricio Pochettino, who has placed himself in the upper echelons of current coaches.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Spurs will find that despite the absence of a transfer fee, signing free agent Alves will not be a straightforward task. Several top clubs like Arsenal and Manchester City could offer resistance.

The prospect of reuniting with Pep Guardiola at City could play a big role, with the Brazilian still mulling over his next club.

TRANSFER RATING: 5/10

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Transfer Predictor: Nabil Fekir's move to Real Betis gets a 7 and Borja Iglesias to West Ham is a 5

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Nabil Fekir was on the verge of joining Liverpool last summer.

Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.

We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.

Today’s edition features potential signings for West Ham, Paris-Saint Germain and Real Betis.

BORJA IGLESIAS

Espanyol -> €28 million -> West Ham

Marca report that Espanyol’s best attacker of the 2018/19 season Iglesias could have his release clause of €28 million triggered by West Ham. This rumour surfaced only days after the London club failed to acquire Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

West Ham would have you believe that there’s something attractive about tier two strikers in La Liga. After failing to sign Gomez, the Hammers have turned their attention to Iglesias, who just enjoyed a 20-goal season with Barcelona’s second club.

The transfer fee could be on their side this time as the 26-year-old’s contract can be bought out for just €28m, which is €22 million less than Gomez’s release clause.

The Galician is in great touch and could prove to be an able replacement for Marko Arnautovic.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Real Betis are also interested in buying the player and could pay up to €30m to acquire his services, according to various Spanish outlets.

However, the twist is that the Seville club want to do it over installments and are yet to reach an agreement with Espanyol over the mode of payment.

In any case, the possibility of Iglesias continuing to ply his trade in the familiar territory of La Liga can’t be ignored.

TRANSFER RATING: 5/10

TIEMOUE BAKAYOKO

Tiemoue Bakayoko looks on

Chelsea -> Loan -> Paris Saint-Germain

An impressive stint with AC Milan has earned Chelsea midfielder Bakayoko a possibility of a move to his hometown and test himself at the biggest club in France.

Goal report that PSG are plotting a one-year loan move with a purchase option for the Frenchman as they look to add depth to their squad following the departure of Adrien Rabiot to Juventus on a free transfer.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

It’s unlikely that Chelsea will want to keep the player after a woeful 2017/18 season. PSG want him and he wants to play in Paris, or so he told L’Equipe.

“Yes, for sure, one day I would like to play in Paris,” Bakayoko said. “I cannot lie about it. It’s big for me and my loved ones. We are real Parisians.”

The loan deal hence seems straightforward and one that is very likely to materialise.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Bakayoko was not in Maurizio Sarri’s plans but with the managerial change and the transfer ban complicating the situation, the London club could have to think twice before letting their sixth most expensive transfer go so easily.

At the moment, the player is on the Blues’ pre-season tour and the decision to let him go on loan is Frank Lampard’s to make. The former Chelsea midfielder would want his options open amid the transfer ban.

TRANSFER RATING: 7/10

NABIL FEKIR

Nabil Fekir

Lyon -> €30 million -> Real Betis

Welcome to the most bizarre transfer story of the day. Fekir was inches from joining reigning Champions League winners Liverpool last summer but could now see himself wearing the green and white stripes in Seville.

Several publications such as Le Parisien and Marca claim that Betis are not only interested in Fekir, but are in advanced talks and could finalise a deal worth €30m soon.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Once a hot prospect, could the Frenchman really sign for a club which has not had a sniff a trophy for a while? Don’t be surprised. Despite not falling into the category of the ‘big clubs’ in Spain, Betis have managed to pull off impressive transfers in the last two seasons thanks to a good sporting project and massive strides made in the growth of the club.

Betis managed to rope in top players like Marc Bartra, William Carvalho, Sergio Canales, Diego Lainez and Giovani Lo Celso in the last two years. In fact, Fekir could also be seen as a slight downgrade to the last name on the list – the player he will be replacing in the starting line-up.

Lo Celso is off to the Premier League in all likelihood and Fekir could pick up the mantle in midfield.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

The figure surrounding the rumour is half as much as transfermarkt’s valuation (€60 million) of Fekir. It’s hard to believe that Lyon would agree to a transfer fee as low as €30m in this inflated market, regardless of what reliable sources say.

Should the French club demand a sum close to the player’s value, Betis could opt for a cheaper alternative.

TRANSFER RATING: 7/10

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