What a crazy day for FC Köln! We all went to sleep yesterday not knowing what the future had in store for the club; who would score the goals? When will Modeste’s move be finalized? Who are we attempting to sign in order to make the team better and have the ability to compete on multiple fronts? We woke up and found out the answers to some of those questions, and others were answered as the day went along.
Let’ start with the biggest news first. Anthony Modeste’s move to the Chinese Super League is officially off! This is not a rumor, this wasn’t published in BILD or KICKER, it comes straight from the club itself. The sides apparently could not come to an agreement, and the deal is officially over. This comes fresh on the heels of rumors that CSL club Tianjin Quanjian have made a very large offer for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and his move to the Far East is imminent. But we need to take that rumor with a grain of salt.
The news of the negotiation breakdown broke very early West Coast time, and at first seemed like it had to be not real, especially considering that the media had been reporting that Modeste was in China to take a medical and finalize his contract. But as we have learned repeatedly over the years, the media really knows absolutely nothing. Look at Bayern’s signing of Renato Sanches last season. The narrative that the media was pushing was that a move to Manchester United was a done deal and it was just waiting for his signature to move forward. Then Bayern announce they had signed him, without previously being linked to him at all. We need to stop listening to these rumors! I am as guilty as anyone, but this Modeste saga has shown me that there is absolutely not reason to believe anything the traditional football press put out there. They are based on lies and assumptions and are very often used merely as click bait.
All of this is important, but perhaps more important to FC Köln is, what happens now? Here is what we know, as of writing this, Anthony Modeste is a member of the team and has a contract that runs until 2021. But what we do not know is, on Matchday 1, will he be a Billy Goat? After letting the dust of this mornings news settled, the popular belief seems to be that Modeste will still be sold this summer. I am not sure I believe this. I think if he were to move it would only be to the CSL. It makes no sense for him to move to a club like West Ham, whom he has frequently been linked to. They are underperforming and most likely will be struggling to remain mid table next season. Why would he make a downward move? Köln are an upwardly mobile team and have Europa League football to look forward to. It makes no sense for the Frenchman to move to any team except a team with Champions League football next season. It would be a total waste to throw away his amazing season with a move that is at best lateral and at worst downward.
Köln Pull a Classic Bayern Move
As if the Modeste move was not enough, later in the day it was announced that Köln have signed Colombian youth international Jhon Cordoba, from Mainz. This a move straight out of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s playbook. In fact Bayern are now famous for this kind of transfer dealings. They sit back and let the other giant clubs of Europe fight over press about who is going to sign a transfer target, while quietly securing the signature of virtually every player they go after. Where most clubs announce then act, Bayern act then announce. This has played a huge role in their perception around the world because it is the ultimate power move. It makes them look like they are so powerful that they can, seemingly, on a whim jump into the fray and steal a transfer target away from their rivals. Although it is crazy to believe this is how it actually works, Bayern work incredibly hard to sign players, they simply do not let the press dictate the narrative. This is why I believe that Alexis Sanchez will not end up in Munich, the press made up a story they wanted to push and are letting it run wild.
This is a system used by a truly powerful club to make themselves seem even more powerful. And today Köln did the same thing.
All rumors around which forward Köln would bring in have centered around the duo of Hamburg forwards, Bobby Wood and Michael Gregoritsch. It now appears to be almost a false flag to distract from the courting of Cordoba. The signing was finalized today, which means negotiations had to have been ongoing for quite some time, yet Köln let the narrative be that they were looking at Wood with Gregoritsch as a safety net. This is an important step for the club because this is a big club move, and if we want to be considered a big club we need to continue doing good business like this.
Now the important question is: Where does Cordoba fit in? Is he Modeste’s replacement?
I think that he fits in as depth and no he is not a straight up replacement for Modeste. Cordoba is a quality striker, but he is by no means as good as Modeste at this time. I think he will be a good companion to Modeste in the 4-4-2 system that Stöger likes to run, and in the 4-2-3-1 that is sometimes implemented he will either act as a second striker/No. 10, or as a super sub coming off the bench. Modeste will remain the main focus of the offense.
This is a great move because we now have a quality striker to provide depth to our elite striker, and coupled with the likes of Osako and Zöller, we now have a fairly formidable attacking unit.
Overall today as an amazing day to be an FC Köln supporter, with so much incredible news coming out one is compelled to channel the President of the United States, I am almost tired of all this winning.