Football Manager 2012 Tips: Buying and Selling Players

Buying Players

Buying players in FM 2012 can actually be frustratingly tough. The addition of agents certainly makes the process tougher than it was before. The first thing to do is identify the roles you need. Don’t be swayed by your own desire to sign a top name striker if you don’t really need one. If you have a weak link in defence then it’s best to concentrate your resources there.

If you choose to play with player attribute masking on then you might get a more realistic experience, but it’s also going to be much tougher and you’ll have to rely on your scouts a lot. You should definitely get scout reports on any players you like the look of before you buy. Their advice won’t always be right so don’t follow it blindly, but it can reveal important considerations about mental attitude as well as physical ability.

Your player search will automatically be filtered to only show realistic possible signings which is a nice tweak. Before you put in a bid take a look at their wages as well as their value. A scout report will give you an idea of the likely fee because you’ll rarely get players for their face value. Checking their wages can also reveal that a player is going to be out of your reach. Few players will take a pay cut to sign for you so if their current wages, and probably a bit more, won’t fit into your wage budget then don’t try to sign them. If you sour your relationship with an agent in a failed bid attempt then you might find it impossible to go for that player again in the future when you can afford them.

Planning for a future signing can be a good idea and saying nice things about a player you want in the press might help when you try to sign them down the line.

The actual process of bidding and offering a contract is pretty straightforward. The agent will show you exactly what they want and if you can afford it then the simplest thing to do is agree to their demands. If you have a limit in one area you can sometimes shave money off and keep them interested by upping something else. Just remember that if you walk away they might refuse to talk to you in the future. You can also send non-negotiable offers, but most of them don’t respond favourably to that approach.

Selling Players

Try to identify the players you want rid of early on, but don’t transfer list them until you have a replacement lined up. If you sell too many players at once you might fail to sign replacements in time and then you’re in real trouble. You should also check for any team relationships. You might want rid of that goalie, but if your star striker loves playing with them then there could be a knock on effect if you sell. Remember that transfer listing a player is not going to be good for his morale and if he starts to moan it can have a negative effect on your team.

Selling at the right time is key for bringing in the most funds so keep a close eye on any clubs circling your players. Sometimes it can be worth moving on a star player because you can bring in enough money for a replacement and a couple of great prospects.

You can always offer your players to clubs although I’ve found this rarely works unless they are a great player (in which case why are you selling?) or you offer them at a knockdown price.

Transfer Policy

It’s obviously up to you exactly what approach you go for in terms of signing players, but I’d recommend thinking it out carefully. If you have the resources then try to sign players in their early twenties who have the skills and experience to slot straight into your team, but also have a few years left in the tank.

Like most FM 2012 fans I love to find wonderkids. Finding the best young talent before they hit the big time and bringing them through to become the superstars of tomorrow is immensely satisfying. With young talent like this you have to be careful about exposing them to enough football to help them develop, but you also have to accept that they won’t always do the business for you because they aren’t the finished article yet. Check out my list of the best young players in Football Manager 2012 to get started. The other great thing about bringing young talent through is that you can often sell them on for a big profit – this is great for smaller clubs. If you identify a young player you think will develop well then try to sign them up to a long term contract.

It can also be really enjoyable to find bargain players and free transfers who can slot in and do a job for you. In the lower leagues you’ll rely on signings like this to bolster your squad. If you’re at a top team then avoid signing older players, they’ll generally want big wages and you’ll struggle to get rid of them when they go into decline. If you do sign them then make sure you limit the contract length. For smaller clubs check out the free transfer list and transfer listed players to find bargains.

Loan deals can also be a great idea. If you have a young player and you want to get them some experience then loan them out rather than leaving them sitting in the reserves or youth team. It is also worth loaning players from other clubs at all levels. If you just want cover for a position then it is far cheaper to loan than to buy. Remember can you can include option to buy clauses in loan deals and this can be a good way to get a player when you can’t just sign them outright immediately. It also allows you to see whether they fit into your team or not.

In the next guide we’ll take a look at preparing for a match and team talks. If you’ve got any player signing or selling tips then please post a comment and share them.







12 responses to “Football Manager 2012 Tips: Buying and Selling Players”

  1. Candra Avatar

    Came to your web blog through Google. You already know I will be signing up to your feed.

  2. Jazper Avatar

    Good tips, thanks for the info. I usually like to play with teams that are in financial trouble but have a lot of youth so I usually just buy cheap but good old players and pick up my yearly free transfers.

    With Feyenoord or a club like FC Sochaux for instance, this means giving 3-4 youngsters plenty of games all season before raking in between 7,5-15 million each year by selling them while picking up free or cheap replacements.

    In 2-3 years this usually leads to a financially healthy club and you can get serious about that Uefa cup or Champions league trophy!

  3. Simon Hill Avatar

    Thanks for the comment, good plan, it’s always satisfying to build a club up gradually.

  4. lleao Avatar

    ok so i cant seem to buy many players for their price i meen every time i try to sign a player the teams want 3x the facial value and sometimes there release price. so what do i do i meen this isnt just for good players but to all its such bs.

  5. Simon Hill Avatar

    Yeah it can be frustrating, any club that doesn’t want to sell will look for an inflated price. You can try unsettling the player by publicly admiring them in the press, then it might prove easier to force the club to sell. If you’re finding it too annoying then try checking transfer listed or out of contract players, you won’t find the same hassle with them. Remember that if you scout a player then you can check the report produced and you should find an estimate from your scout of how much the club will actually want if you make a bid, you’ll also find an estimate of their likely wage demands.

  6. Michael Avatar

    I usually manage arsenal which means loaning out lots of young players, i of course check if their valuable or cover and the facilities at the club their going to and the teams squad to see if they’ve even got a chance of playing. but ive noticed that many players come back to my team worse than when they left. i think the problem is that many of my players need to be loaned to premier/championship sides but their never interested in them (too low CA maybe?) so they end up going to league 1/2 sides and come back rubbish! any suggestions? should i just keep them at the club?

  7. Simon Hill Avatar

    I think the key thing is that they get played even if it is a lower league. Always check what the loaning club intends to do and avoid loaning them out as back up. As long as they get regular games they should develop. You could always take over managing the reserves or youth team and make sure the players you want to get played actually do but that’s a bit of a hassle. You could even take over a lower league club but that’s a bit far to go to develop your young players. I usually keep a few at the club because you don’t need to register them and you can bring them in for league cup games you don’t care about or as subs when you’ve already won a game.

  8. Michael Avatar

    Cheers for the help 🙂 ive adopted a new loan policy, make sure they are getting played, keep them at the club until they are 18 then loan them, keep scout updates on them, if possible try and loan them to teams doing well in their league (better moral = better performances), check out the coaching staff were their going, and get rid of all my deadwood players ie. 1 and 1 1/2 star players (contract TERMINATED!) and keep the really good youngsters at the club. I agree managing u18’s, reserves and lower league teams far too much effort. Hopefully the new policy will pay off 🙂

  9. seb Avatar

    do you know of any way to get players like snodgrass to listen to a contract offer from say harrogate town or is that just not possible???

  10. Simon Hill Avatar

    I usually tick the filter for “unrealistic transfers” on the player search screen because it is just frustrating to try and sign players you have no chance of getting. I think the only way really is to improve your club’s reputation by getting promoted.

  11. Gdissegna Avatar

    I’m playing as milan manager, and all the clubs refuse my bid for their player’s for example
    I have made a bid for Astori ( defender ) for 25 mil ( his value is 6mil) and it got refused but then they sold to another team for 5 mil that’s impossible….incredibly unrealistic

  12. Simon Hill Avatar

    That’s pretty unusual. Sometimes teams will resist selling to rival clubs in the same league but a big enough bid will usually persuade them. I’ve never seen such an extreme example.

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