How to mastermind a €1.5m transfer by pinpointing your buyers
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Behind the deals
How to mastermind a €1.5m transfer by pinpointing your buyers
by Jonathan Rest

What do you do when faced with the dilemma of a player wanting a new challenge but timing and market logistics not working in your favour?

For Norwegian club Stabæk, the answer lay in TransferRoom’s PlusPitch mechanism.

CSKA declared interest within 10 or 15 minutes of the PlusPitch. I then got in direct contact with the Sporting Director, there was no intermediary or agent in between, and we agreed on the price in a very short amount of time.
Torgeir Bjarmann
Sporting Director, Stabæk

A Pitch perfect proposal


Stabæk academy product Emil Bohinen is part of the great new hope of Norwegian football and the time had come for the central midfielder to take the next step in his career and break from home comforts.


But with the repercussions of Covid having stalled some clubs’ financial ability to do business and a quiet European Winter transfer window having shut, Bohinen and Stabæk’s options were limited.


So Stabæk Sporting Director Torgeir Bjarmann (pictured) took the more targeted approach, which resulted in the then 21-year-old Bohinen being sold for €1.5m, one of the club's 10 biggest transfers of all time and the second biggest in five seasons.


Bjarmann told TransferRoom: “Bohinen was definitely ready to take the next step. There had been lots of interest in him for over a year, but coronavirus made business difficult in the transfer windows and the finances of clubs was different to the past. 


“So when the European window had closed in most countries, and Emil wanted a new challenge, we had to think differently. 


“I launched a PlusPitch on TransferRoom selecting 20 clubs in different leagues, where the transfer market was still open, that I knew could be interested in Emil. CSKA Moscow was the only Russian club I chose because I knew from my sources they were very professional and liked doing business club-to-club rather than having lots of agents running around trying to get something out of the deal. 


“CSKA declared interest within 10 or 15 minutes of the PlusPitch. I then got in direct contact with the Sporting Director, there was no intermediary or agent in between, and we agreed on the price in a very short amount of time.


“You quickly get the direct answers from the decision makers and the whole picture is clearer on TransferRoom.”


Moscow move for midfield sensation


Taking up the story from the buying side, Andrey Movsesyan, CSKA Moscow Sporting Director, said: “We had been scouting the Norwegian market and Emil Bohinen for a long time, but we were unsure whether he would be available for sale.


“However, one day we received a notification on TransferRoom - a PlusPitch from Stabæk. We opened up TransferRoom and saw that Stabæk wanted to sell him.


“After getting this key market information, we decided to act on it. Since Stabæk had informed us directly about the price of the player, the negotiations were much quicker.


“The transparency on the deal terms and direct communication with the decision maker of Stabæk helped us seal the deal very quickly. 


“In the end, we got the player we wanted for a good deal. It would have been more difficult to conclude the deal had we not been using TransferRoom.”


For Bjarmann, the sale of Bohinen to a club with strong European pedigree put Stabæk on the map as a place that produces top young footballers.


And that is paramount.


As Sporting Director of the Eliteserien club, Bjarmann’s annual goals, by his own admission, are by no means easily achieved - “focus on selling players, but be in the top six, play the youngest team in the league and keep the wage bill down.” 


That turns the spotlight onto the academy.


He added: “To produce players is how Stabæk survives in this league. We have to sell players every year until we get the new stadium (planned for 2023).


“Our last three big transfers have been to Sampdoria (Kristoffer Askildsen), Gent (Andreas Hanche-Olsen) and now CSKA with Bohinen, all of them academy players.”


Striking options


It’s not just outgoings where Stabæk have found solutions via TransferRoom, with striker Oleksiy Khoblenko brought in on loan from SK Dnipro-1, in his home country of Ukraine.


“Very often you get the names of hundreds of players a week sent to you,” explained Bjarmann. “On TransferRoom it is much easier. I just sent a message to Dnipro to check for real that this player was available for loan. It was a very good solution for us. 


“I got a direct answer from the Sporting Director at Dnipro that this deal was possible, so I went to my coaches and showed this player on video, because we couldn’t travel at the time [because of Covid]. Then he was added to the list and everything went well.


“You get so many players offered to you from agents, but this information from the club was quick and true. You save a lot of time.”

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