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Loss of market confidence wrecks stars' summer deals

City verdict the latest blow to transfer picture feeling distorted by Covid-19 and lockdown

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In his hands: Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are free to go shopping this tranfer window following this week’s CAS decision. Photo: Getty Images

In his hands: Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are free to go shopping this tranfer window following this week’s CAS decision. Photo: Getty Images

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In his hands: Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are free to go shopping this tranfer window following this week’s CAS decision. Photo: Getty Images

Neymar peers stoically across the Paris rooftops pondering the meaning of it all. Ditto Paul Pogba in Manchester, albeit rooftops through a rain-flecked window. In Milan, Alexis Sanchez opens a letter informing him of the start date for pre-season training at Carrington, as sad piano music plays in the background. Harry Kane refreshes the Premier League standings, sighs, and wonders if this is where he expected to be as he prepares to turn 27 this month.

An orchestra of tiny violins for the multi-millionaire footballers who envisaged that this might be their summer, and politicked, suggested or just hinted that they could be somewhere else by the time the window closed.

In the new Covid world, it was only yesterday that the Premier League finally got around to agreeing its window dates, closing on October 5 with two extra weeks to hoover up Football League signings on the cheap.