Many a Tottenham fan would like us to buy Julian Draxler and we have scouted him. Arsenal have been heavily linked this summer and Everton are now being linked, although they would have little chance of signing him.
Now I bring you this story because it has echoes of Real Madrid and their chase for Luka Modric and Gareth Bale. Let's be honest, football has rules and clubs ignore them.
Draxler plays for German side Wolfsburg who have issued a statement making it clear Draxler will not be leaving Wolfsburg and in addition suggesting clubs should show a little more respect. The German media are continually speculating that he is going to move to the Premier League, although they also suggest that Real Madrid are in pole position.
"The Supervisory Committee and the Board of Directors at VfL Wolfsburg feel the need to comment on the interview with Julian Draxler which was published in the Bild newspaper, in order to clarify the current situation and dispel any possible resulting rumours.
"VfL Wolfsburg wish to make it absolutely clear that at no time did those responsible at the club make either written nor oral commitments on the transfer of Julian Draxler within the current transfer period, which is due to end on August 31st, 2016. This is reiterated by a contractual release clause agreed upon with Julian Draxler and his management, which does not come into effect until summer 2017.
"VfL Wolfsburg will not be selling Julian Draxler during the course of the current transfer period. In joint discussions with Julian Draxler, VfL Wolfsburg again made it clear that they would not be granting the player’s wish to make a move.
"We now consider any possible uncertainties to have been eradicated and that all parties can revert back to a professional and responsible collaboration for the good of VfL Wolfsburg and, in particular, for our fans."
That statement raises a few issues. Clearly Draxler wants to leave but is under contract. I'm guessing here, but we see it so often as with Saido Berahino, that a player believes he has a verbal agreement, a gentleman's agreement. Usually it is something along the lines of we will listen to reasonable offers and when it comes to it no offer is considered reasonable.
That breaks down trust and shows a naivety in negotiation, if you are going down that route surely as an agent you should get a figure from the club that is considered a reasonable offer. All parties then know where they stand.
All fans of a club want their player staying, they want them to show loyalty. Times have changed though and football mirrors society. You used to have a job for life when you went into an industry, into a company, that is now not the case. The workforce move all the time now and footballers do the same.
Looking at it from a footballers point of view he starts out with a limited career span and has to climb the grades to get to the top. That means moving clubs. Players want Champions League football, if they can't have that they want European football. They want that every season and therefore want to be at a club that can provide it. If he is stuck at a club who can offer neither he isn't progressing his career.
Wolfsburg are not interested in the career of Julian Draxler, they are only interested in Wolfsburg, who do not have European football next season. I'm not suggesting that is wrong, merely that it causes a problem.
What is the point of a player signing a five-year contract at a club? If he is tied to that contract and that becomes the norm, then agents will simply not have their clients sign long term contracts, unless they are at a top club.
A contract is not a contract to keep a player at a football club, it is merely a vehicle for ensuring a club can get maximum transfer value for a player should they leave. If a club is offering Champions League football or European football then yes a player views the contract as one he wants to honour, but without that he doesn't, he wants to move to a club that can provide it.
They are the facts of football, whether you agree with them or not that's what happens. If you tie a player to a club who don't provide what a players short career needs then contracts will change and become shorter and thus transfer fees will have to fall. There will be more short contracts, more players in the last year of their contracts and more players leaving for free.
It is why clubs have to constantly scout players for every position. We will be scouting Harry Kane replacements for instance, we are looking for a young goalkeeper to train as the successor to Hugo Lloris.
Comparatively, these club vs player career fights are few, they are resolved before they get to this stage. They occur with the better players who see a club with no European football preventing them advancing their career to a bigger club. Sometimes it doesn't end well.
The natural food chain, the strong eat the weak, clubs are of a different size, some clubs are a stepping stone to a bigger club, pretending that isn't the case or resisting it causes these problems. A club wants to advance itself and therefore keep their best players, but players are not at a club to advance the club generally, they are there to advance themsleves.