IN June, when the transfer window opened, famed Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano jumped straight into action.
He shared Manchester United's opening proposal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong in intimate detail – which the Red Devils are still trying to get over the line – on his Twitter account.
Then, he proceeded to reveal exclusive snippets of info on the likes of Gabriel Jesus' move to Arsenal, as well as the chase for Brazil ace Raphinha.
More often than not, Romano, 29, gets it spot on – thanks to an extensive contacts book of agents, players and club personnel.
And with an army of 9.2million followers, football fans around the globe await his tweets to see what business their favourite clubs will do during the close season.
Admittedly, Romano – who once confessed he was too busy to have a girlfriend – often gets just four hours' sleep, as he spends all his time tweeting and recording video for his YouTube channel when clubs start to trading.
Sometimes, he will even pull an all-nighter.
"Sometimes it's just got four or five hours sleep (I get) during the window," he told Optus Sport.
"Then, there are some crazy moments with Messi and Ronaldo – so you don't sleep! You always want to be in control of the situation."
Romano, who revealed he's a Watford fan, even has his own catchphrase, 'Here we go' that he coins when a deal is concluded.
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That all began, he believes, when he covered Paul Pogba signing for Manchester United.
"I did not plan for 'here we go!' to become a brand," Romano told Bleacher Report back in 2020. "I was not planning anything."
"To be honest, I cannot even remember clearly when it started, but it was a deal about Manchester United, maybe Paul Pogba, and it had been going on for a couple of months. People kept asking me for updates, and when the deal was finally in place I just said, 'here we go!'
"People liked it and started to ask me about other transfer rumours —they wanted another 'here we go!' about their club.
"I feel excited when I get a big story. For me, it's like scoring an important goal in a big match. I remember when Bruno Fernandes joined Manchester United; that was a good one for me. When you put in so much on one story, and I get the news it has finally happened, I feel excited.
"People ask me which team I support, but it is not about that. I am excited because of the way the signing will make people feel."
Romano is careful not to tread on any journalist's toes when it comes to his work.
So, rather than discount other reporters' transfer stories you won't hear him calling them 'fake'.
"To be this kind of journalist is not easy because when people ask for news or if something is true, I want to be respectful to other journalists," he said.
"So I just say what I know. I don't want to say 'this is fake.'
"The market has changed in recent years. It used to be meetings with people or getting an agent on the phone, but now you can speak to people on social media as well. I always have to be ready.
"I started with (Sky Sport Italian journalist) Gianluca Di Marzio, and that taught me a lot. The mentality was not to just check information with clubs but also with agents and intermediaries. I think the secret is to have a good relationship with all of these people. We have to have so many sources now."
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Romano confessed he's at his happiest when clubs are allowed to buy again, and cares less for the games themselves.
He laughed: "I prefer the transfer window to the actual football matches! Of course I love games, but there is an excitement about working on the market and how things can change so quickly."
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