There are only so many times one can use the expression “silly season” before it gets Tweeted disparagingly by the Football Cliches account, and now that I think of it, it surely must have been by now. Hold on…here:
Transfer Silly Season, 2013 pic.twitter.com/Lc1GFCa4vN
— Football Clichés (@FootballCliches) July 11, 2013
Actually this handy Venn diagram isn’t too far off the mark, though in fairness Wayne Rooney would likely be better placed in the straight “Want Away” category. Anyhoo, the latest news indicates that Manchester United are offering £26 million for the services of Cesc Fabregas. This comes in addition to the news that Arsenal has lodged a £35 million for Luis Suarez. Matt “Moneybags” Law doesn’t approve:
I should add that bidding £26m for Fabregas seems as pointless as bidding £35m for Suarez. Why not make realistic opening bids?
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_SM) July 15, 2013
Again, let’s haul out our handy CIES Football Observatory valuation sheet. Their metric indicates Suarez’s worth to be between 37.2-43.2 million euros, which translates to 32.1 -37.4 million pounds. So we’re doing okay so far. Things get a little saucier when we look at Fabregas’ transfer worth. CIES pegs it at 40.4 to 47 million euros, which puts it at 34.95-40.6 million pounds.
So, in essence, United are lowballing while Arsenal are not. How could this be? Well, as with any market transaction, presumably any number of things. Perhaps United know something about Fabregas’ situation at Barcelona, that Barcelona may no longer see a role for him, that he’s not likely to have many rival suitors, that there are all sorts of clauses that could be added, etc. etc.
In both cases, it also makes sense for the opening bid to stay low. One could make the argument that Arsenal simply want to get things done, while United are taking a punt on player they don’t positively need. Or these are unsubstantiated bullshit stories. The lesson remains though—players only cost what the market bears. The End.