I’m a team doctor and here's what really happens in a footballer's medical before transfer move – and how long it takes | The Sun

FOOTBALL club doctors "have an in-depth read" of a player's medical history before a transfer move is completed.

The summer and winter transfer windows see clubs part with thousands if not millions of pounds to land players to improve their squad.

Transfers are a long and complicated process involving a lot of people.

Agents, scouts, coaches and managers are all involved in the process.

But one of the most important people involved in finalising the transfer are the players and the doctors who conduct the medical.

A medical can make or break a deal, as seen with Loic Remy's proposed move to Liverpool in 2014.


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And former first-team physio at St Johnstone and Shamrock Rovers, Fearghal Kerin, has given an insight into the extensive process.

Speaking to JOE, Kerin revealed: "When an agreement is reached, the club's physio would contact the potential selling club to get some brief information, just so they know if the player has any specific medical details or requirements.

"In some cases, former team-mates of the player can also inform the doctor about his history.

"Even before the transfer goes into the advanced stages, most medical staff will have a fair idea of what they're dealing with.

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"Upon meeting the player himself, the club doctors will be given the medical notes from his current team.

"This is always done first, before you move onto the more rigorous testing process."

Once the information has been passed onto the club, the doctors will then "have an in-depth read" to understand the potential signing's medical history.

The doctor will then have a Q&A session with the player which would cover previous injuries and anything of interest.

Kerin continued: "With these notes, a club's medical staff would have an in-depth read so they can understand his history.

"After this you would have a private Q&A, where the player is asked rigorous questions about any of his previous injuries, especially during the previous season.

"This is very important because the examining doctor needs to understand what niggles they may have and the reasons why he missed games last year.

"Clubs will already know the exact amount of games that the player has played last year, however, they want to know why he was absent from the others.

"Was it poor form or health? This conversation forms the basis of the entire day's medical tests."


When news of a medical breaks, fans hope the player gets the all clear and signs on the dotted line as soon as possible.

But sometimes medicals can take up several days depending on whether any injuries or illnesses are discovered.

Kerin said on how long a medical can take: "For a simple medical you would turn it over in a day but if there is some confusion or issues flared then it might drag on for a second or third day.

"In these occasions, the parties would refer to a specialist but at the very highest level, clubs would ask for a quick key-hole scope to get an exact understanding of what's going on with the joint.

"This is what Manchester United did with Ruud van Nistelrooy the first time out.

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"They wanted a perfect idea of what his knee looked like and this is why he failed his initial medical.

"Lo and behold he did his actual cruciate a few weeks later and the club saved themselves from buying an injury risk."

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