NBA-style trades in soccer? Here are four we’d like to see, with Neymar and Harry Kane on the move

How the soccer transfer market will look moving forward remains to be seen due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici predicts we will see NBA-style trades. If we do indeed see a lot more player-for-player swaps in the coming months, it’s still unclear how exactly everything will function under FIFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. There’s no doubt, however, that the economic impact of COVID-19 is severely hurting clubs and leagues, possibly bringing into play more trades as a result. La Liga president Javier Tebas said the clubs in Spain would lose €1 billion if the season is called off, and they stand to lose €300 million if games are played without spectators.

So if we see more trades, here are four from around Europe that make sense from the player standpoint.

1. Harry Kane to Manchester United

Manchester United receives:

  • Harry Kane ($12.9 million salary)

Tottenham receives:

  • Anthony Martial ($16 million salary)
  • Daniel James ($2.8 million salary)
  • Mason Greenwood (One-year loan)
  • Diogo Dalot (One-year loan)

Why: Look, United needs a striker. It isn’t Martial, it isn’t Marcus Rashford. The club didn’t replace Romelu Lukaku and it has shown with inconsistency. Now, in Kane, the Red Devils would get one of the world’s best striker and a player who has already hinted at a departure. They would have their No. 9 for the foreseeable future, someone who has averaged more than 30 goals a season over the last five campaigns. In return, Spurs would get two talented attackers in Martial and James and two good loan moves, but they would still need to go in search of a striker to join Heung-min Son in attack. Could Spurs get more from, say, Real Madrid? Sure, but if he wants to go to United and respectfully tries to force a move, it’s hard to envision them getting a better package, though on paper Kane’s value is superior. 

2. Neymar to Barcelona 

Barcelona receives:

PSG receives:

  • Antoine Griezmann ($27.7 million)
  • Ousmane Dembele ($12.9 million)
  • Nelson Semedo (one-year loan with buy option)

Why: Barcelona gets Neymar back to join forces once again with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, while PSG brings in two French players as they go in search of Champions League glory. The move for Neymar has had ups and downs for the Parisian side. He’s scored consistently but has also dealt with off-the-pitch issues and plenty of injuries. They aren’t getting the €220 million back for Neymar, but in return they get a guy in Griezmann who has played his entire successful pro career in Spain, a talent in Dembele who has world-class potential and then a chance to try out Semedo. Neither Griezmann nor Dembele have really settled in at Barca, so this is a move about a lot of guys who could use a chance of scenery. 

3. Jadon Sancho to Chelsea

Chelsea receives:

  • Jadon Sancho ($12.9 million)

Borussia Dortmund receives:

  • Mateo Kovacic ($6.9 million)
  • Michy Batshuayi ($5.8 million)
  • Antonio Rudiger ($6.5 million)
  • Mason Mount (one-year loan)

Why: Sancho moves back to England and joins the rich youth of the Blues, while Dortmund restocks its team knowing it was always going to be hard to keep him. Sancho becomes a sure-starter at Stamford Bridge to play alongside Tammy Abraham in the final third, while Dortmund does well for itself in return. Kovacic can be the long-term replacement for Axel Witsel; Batshuayi was fantastic at Dortmund in 2017-18 while on loan before getting injured; and they get a German international defender in Antonio Rudiger, who played for the youth teams at Dortmund. Add in a loan of Mason Mount for a year, and Dortmund does well in this swap while Chelsea gets a budding superstar.

4. Erling Haaland to Real Madrid

Real Madrid gets:

  • Erling Haaland ($8 million)

Borussia Dortmund gets:

  • Achraf Hakimi ($1.8 million)
  • Luka Jovic ($8.8 million)
  • Rodrygo (One-year loan with no buy option)

Why: Haaland to Real Madrid only feels like a matter of time. Dortmund got him for €20 million in January from Red Bull Salzburg, and this club isn’t run by dummies. They know his value will only increase, especially after Euro. With that competition now taking place in the summer of 2021, if Dortmund can hold on to him until after the tournament, the German side stands to make more than five times what it paid for him. In this scenario, Dortmund does just fine. Hakimi has been on loan at Dortmund from Real Madrid, and he’s been just magical to the point where Premier League clubs are now after him. In this scenario, Dortmund gets to keep the highly rated defender, adds a striker in Luka Jovic who has proven he can star in Germany and hasn’t settled in at the Santiago Bernabeue, and gets a potential superstar on loan for one year in Rodrygo. 

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