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How to Buy Players in Football Manager 2023

Football Manager 2023

Do you need some guidance on how to buy players in Football Manager 2023? Here’s everything you need to know.

With all the modern talk of tactics, role and systems, football seems more technical than it ever has. But underneath everything, it’s still fundamentally a game of 11 versus 11. And if your 11 are better than the other side’s 11, they will win more times than not. That’s why it’s important to buy the best players you can in Football Manager 2023.

Now, buying a player in Football Manager 2023 isn’t simply a case of going to an online shop and adding some talented footballer to your basket. Like real-world league football, you have transfer offers, contracts and complex bureaucracy to contend with. We’ve broken down the process of how to buy players into handy headings.

Finding players to buy in Football Manager 2023

Before you can buy better players in Football Manager 2023, you first need to identify who they are. Maybe you already have your sights set on one of your favourite players. Or you may want to set up a scouting team to help you seek out that player you’ve been waiting for.

Once you have a player in mind, you will want to check if they are currently contracted to a club. Do this by going to the ‘Contract’ tab on their profile. If they are available on a free transfer you can go straight to contract talks. If they are already registered with a club then you need to make a transfer offer.

Transfer Offers

To make a transfer offer, go to the ‘Transfer’ tab and select ‘Make an offer’. Here you can set out your price. The first thing you will notice is that you can make a transfer offer or a loan offer. You may look at loaning a chosen player if you feel that a transfer is too expensive. If you do choose a loan then you can negotiate how much of the player’s current wage you will pay and additional fees and stipulations.

On the left of the offer screen you will see some transfer information. You will see the player’s current contract, their perceived transfer value and if any other teams are interested. The more you have scouted this player, the more rounded idea you will have of their worth.

Know how much you can spend

Below this information you will also see your transfer budget and wage budget. This is to inform you whether or not you can afford the transfer. If you are likely to come up short you can interact with your board and persuade them to add a bit extra for the player. We’ve had limited success with this, but you can still make an offer above your budget and work on freeing some space for when the deal is finalised.

If you are going ahead with the transfer offer, set a fee you think is fair. You can also add additional fees that activate when certain parameters are met. If you need to meter your fee over several seasons, you can also pay in instalments.

There are also clauses that you can set out, such as loaning back the player for a certain amount of time. This is useful if you are investing in a player’s potential.


Next to all these fees and clauses are little padlocks that indicate if that fee or clause is negotiable. White, unlocked padlock items mean that you’re open to negotiation. Click to turn them into red, locked padlocks, however, and you’re setting those terms as non-negotiable. There’s also a third, orange padlock option that makes the transfer clause/fee limited to small changes. Finally, if you want to play hard-ball, there’s an option at the top to make the whole offer non-negotiable.

When your transfer offer is ready you can either make this offer or suggest terms. Suggesting terms allows the other club to come back to you with a counter-offer straight away. If they do, they may have padlocked some clauses that they require to make a deal happen. You can keep going to and fro until you get a deal, but the negotiator may lose patience and exit talks. You can still then cancel the offer and make a new offer but the club won’t negotiate it and will either accept or reject it at the deadline.

Contract Promises

If you have had a transfer offer accepted or you are looking to buy a free agent, you’ll enter a contract talk. You will get a notification in your inbox when this is possible after a transfer bid is accepted. If the players you’re looking to buy in Football Manager 2023 are free agents, you can go straight to the player’s ‘Contact’ tab.

In the contract talks, you will see information about the player on the right and on the left you will see information about their agent. Many players represent themselves. In the middle of the screen is the details of the talk.

To start off with, you will discuss promises with the player. These always include the contract start date and their playing time. You will see what the player ideally wants/expects, and you have the option of accepting or making a counter offer. Just like transfer offers, both you and the player can lock certain options and exclude others. Any promises you make will be marked if the transfer is successful and the player will expect you to honour them. They can become unhappy if you don’t.

If the player isn’t that keen, they may say “show me a good offer” without laying anything down. You will need to wow them with promises that you can keep.

Contract Talks

If the promises are accepted then you will be able to offer the player a contract. This is a very similar process to making a transfer offer. You will be able to adjust wage, appearance fees etc. and can adjust what is negotiable. The main difference is that you need to reach an agreement or walk away from talks. You can see the patience of the agent to the left; they will indicate how willing they are to continue negotiating. You can, of course, make a non-negotiable offer but they may reject it. If you or them walk away, then you will need to resubmit a transfer offer to get to contract talks again. However, they will likely not want to re-enter negotiations for a while.

Unlike the transfer offer, wage and fees are limited to your threshold. You can only offer a wage that the club can afford, and if you offered a big transfer fee that will be taken into account. You may be able to adjust the wage and transfer ratio depending on any excess budget. If you and the player agree on terms then you can ‘Finalise Deal’.

Accepting the Transfer

Even if you agreed to a contract, there’s still the chance that the player may choose a different club to go ahead with. You will be notified if this is the case when the player has made that decision.

When the date of transfer comes around, you’ll get a notification in your inbox if the player has chosen your offer. If your transfer date was as soon as possible, this will likely occur sometime in the next two weeks. At this point, you still have the option of rejecting or stalling the deal if you’ve changed your mind. If you want to go ahead, choose to accept.

Work permits

However: if the player is from another country to your club, they might need a work permit first.

You can apply for a work permit as soon as the player has chosen to accept your offer. You will be told how likely a work permit is to be accepted and can then choose if you want to apply for one. Without it, the player will not be able to play for your club, but they can be training. If the work permit is rejected or not applied for, then the player will often choose not to join your club, taking you back to square one. You can try and persuade them but this is a hard task.

If the player is still intent on joining your club, whether they need a work permit or not, you can still reject this contract at the last hurdle. You’ll have to restart talks if you change your mind, but you will have burnt your bridges quite badly.

Alternatively, you can stall the offer for a week. In our experience, you can usually do this twice before the club/player gives up and exits the offer. It’s helpful in situations where another, better player is joining, or if you haven’t immediately got the funds to afford the transfer. You can go to the player at any time and use the contract/transfer tab to accept the deal (providing you can afford it) or you will be forced to reject, stall or accept the offer after one week.

If you have the funds, then you are able to accept the deal and the player will join on the agreed starting date.

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