Transfer deadline day is everything that football should be | Jack Bernhardt

There’s not a pitch in sight, but the sport reaches its glorious peak when absurd rumours force real life to take a back seat

It’s time. The Sky Sports News presenters have downed three bottles of Adderall, ready to scream rumours of MK Dons securing a loan deal for a Chelsea academy player you’ve never heard of into our scared little faces. Wednesday is transfer deadline day, the best day of the football calendar: better than the FA Cup final, better than the last day of the season, better than when Gary Lineker has a couple of drinks and goes full “messy bitch” at Piers Morgan on social media.

I love it. It’s like a game of grandmother’s footsteps played out on national scale. Certain footballers are identified as being “on the move” by tabloids and from that point on, they are the Hunted: their every movement is watched and tracked on social media. “Fabinho has been spotted at baggage reclaim at Manchester airport.” “Olivier Giroud has been spotted in the King’s Road Waitrose buying an egg salad sandwich.” “Ashley Barnes has been spotted at Canada Water, looking confused at the London Overground timetable, trying to work out which train goes to Thornton Heath (he’s having an absolute ‘mare, everyone knows that’s National Rail).”

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