Manchester United- What can £30m get you in the transfer window these days?
The answer, not a lot.
Manchester United are set to formally announced Swansea winger Daniel Jamesthis week in a deal expected to be in an initial £15m rising to £18m with add ons.
While under £20m is a drop in the ocean compared to the monstrous fees being paid it’s still a considerable sum for a 21-year-old who has proved himself by one good season in the Championship. Rewind just seven years and Manchester City made a similar transfer when they bought Scott Sinclair from Swansea.
He had proven Premier League experience to add to his spell with Swansea in the Championship and he made his move to the Etihad for just over £6m.
And United are finding that in the post-Neymar transfer world they’re going to have to pay more than they bargained for to land their top targets. Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one of those targets and the club had a bid in the region of £40m rejected over the weekend.
While club chiefs plan upping their bid to land the 21-year-old it is understood Palace want in the region of £60m for a player who has one full Premier League experience.
Ten years ago Real Madrid paid just £20m more for Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, a snip at £80m, but gone are the days where proven Premier League players are sold for cut prices.
Reports claim United are now looking at cheaper alternatives to Wan-Bissaka due to Palace’s demands but if it’s young British talent Solskjaer wants, which it is, then the club hierarchy are going to have to bow down to the financial demands that come with those targets.
“The price is always going to be big because clubs are wise now to it, you can’t pinch players off clubs for £5m or £6m. They are wise to it and have the Premier League funding of £100-odd-million so they don’t need to panic, they don’t need that extra £5m or £10m, they want £50m or £60m,” Gary Neville pointed out last month.
£50m is the new £30m and clubs know they can demand an excessive fee especially when it comes to dealing with United, a club they know are in need of major transfer surgery.
So while people balk at the fee United are being quoted for Wan-Bissaka and compare the deal to Ronaldo to Madrid back in 2009 the reality is the club need to pay it if Solskjaer is serious about landing the targets he is after this summer.