With that in mind, I've come up with 5 simple - yet extremely useful - transfer tips for anyone who's struggling to make proper use of the windows. So, without further ado:
Structure Your Bids
In real-life, transfer fees are almost never paid in one lump sum; allowing the buying party to sign a new player without the club, as a business, taking a massive hit. So why then, when it comes to Football Manager, do a lot of us tend to pay the whole fee in one big splurge?
The answer's simple really, because we're lazy and it lets us know exactly where we are with our budget. If you have £7M and you spend £4M you know there's an extra £3M left to play with. This is all well and good, however, it means you're not getting the most out of your money.
Additional fees are an absolute godsend when it comes to occasions such as signing a player just outside of your budget's range, or making a signing while awaiting the sale of one of your squad members.
They are perhaps my favourite thing about the transfer market itself, as you don't have to pay top dollar for a player unless he is performing as you predicted he would. Taking a punt on an unknown striker? Throw a 'Minimum League Goals' fee in as part of his transfer; if he flops, you don't pay.
Here, for example, if I insert an 'After League Appearances' fee into this deal, I know that I won't have to pay up until Angel Correa plays a certain number of games. This means, if I take an unexpected financial setback, I can simply bench him/place him in the U21's until I can get the money together.
Make Use of Clauses
Additional clauses are a similarly useful bargaining tool. They allow you to offset payment by offering the selling club other incentives such as a 'Percentage of Profit From Next Sale'.
If you're a Premier League club looking to buy an upcoming League 2 wonderkid, try your hand at reducing the transfer fee and instead offering to arrange a friendly; if the lower league club are smart they'll realise they're likely to make a lot more from gate receipts than they would've from the transfer itself.
Be Patient - Things Get Cheaper Later On
Signing a player - particularly a loanee - can become considerably cheaper as the transfer window progresses. Here, for instance, the monthly loan fee Atletico wanted for Correa has reduced from £10K to £0. Likewise, his expected wage contribution has dropped from 100% to 40%.
It may be frustrating watching other clubs make signings as you sit on the sidelines but, if you're working on a shoestring budget, patience is the key to a better deal.
ALWAYS Suggest Terms
The 'Suggest Terms' button - bottom right of the screen - is perhaps the most important of the whole transfer interface. Pressing it gives triggers an instant response to your offer; an invaluable feature if you're pressed for time.
It works so well because it can help immediately make your mind up over whether or not you pursue a deal. In the screenshot above, I offered a £10M future fee for Correa - a little ambitious considering his release clause but still a decent offer - and Atletico rebutted with a £21.5M. Clearly, we're miles apart when it comes to our valuation of the player; meaning I can quickly move on to another target without the fuss of making a bid and waiting for a response.
Know When To Walk Away
The contract offer is a sticky part of negotiations, everything is so close to coming together and you've probably already planned on how you're going to use your new star, nevertheless, you mustn't forget, it's not too late to cancel the deal.
If a player or his agent comes in with demands that are way above and beyond what you want to pay, just walk away. It may be tempting to give in to his requests but, in the long run, that will only lead to problems. Players of a similar stature already in the squad will begin to wonder why they're not getting the same wage, fans may get wind of how much you're paying and balk at the cost to the club. The bottom line is this; no one is bigger than the club, only ever pay what you think is reasonable.
That's it from me for now, thanks for reading and, until next time, enjoy playing FM 2016!