Aston Villa

Is Sir Alex Being Cheap, Or Has The Old Fox Got A Point?

Sir Alex Ferguson has reportedly reacted with anger after Manchester United have been told they would have to pay £72m to land their top targets Luka Modric, Leighton Baines and Check Tiote this summer, according to The Daily Mail.

Sir Alex is looking to strengthen and expand his midfield options this summer after an arguably less than dominant performances last season.  He is also looking to an alternative to Patrice Evra at left-back.

However according to the Mail article the Man United boss is refusing to meet Harry Redknapp’s £32m valuation of Luka Modric, Alan Pardew’s £20m valuation of Check Tiote or David Moyes’ valuation of £20m for Leighton Baines as he looks to keep costs at Old Trafford manageable.

‘We have made inquires for all three players but Sir Alex will not be paying these ridiculous fees’ admitted an Old Trafford source in the piece.

I for one am in total agreement with Fergie.  All three valuations seem over the top.  Maybe this is a deliberate tactic by the clubs in question.  Perhaps all three clubs are desperate to retain their best players  and inflation of their values is an attempt to hold onto them.

Modric in particular seems extremely over valued. He came to Spurs for a fee of £16.5m in 2008.  He is a world class player but seems to have problems with consistency and for £32m I would expect a greater number of goals, he has only contributed 13 goals in 125 appearances in the league.  For me I would put Modric’s valuation closer to the £20m mark.  When you look at the transfer of Gareth Barry going from Villa to Manchester City for £12m, Charlie Adam’s move from Blackpool to Liverpool for £7m or even Ashley Young’s move for Villa to United for a reported £15-£20m it really puts in perspective how inflated Modric’s value is.

The same goes for the value of Check Tiote.  In his two seasons at Newcastle in the Premiership he has excelled.  However £20m for a defensive midfielder seems expensive.  He was bought two years ago for a fee of £3.5m and for me I would suggest that a more realistic fee of £15m would still give the Tynside club a good profit.  However I would suggest that to Pardue and Newcastle Tiote probably is worth £20m due to his importance to the team and they would not be looking to lose the hard tackling Ivorian.

Leighton Baines is arguably the most over valued of the three primarily due to the fact that he is a defender and these are generally picked up for more modest sums in comparison to strikers or midfielders.  For example Manchester United only paid £5.5m for Patrice Evra, although to be fair this was back in 2006.  Joleon Lescott moved from Everton to Manchester City for a speculated £22m, but to be fair that transfer did involve Manchester City!

What Ferguson needs to realise is that with the competitiveness of the Premiership clubs obviously want to keep their best players, and talents that have proved themselves in the league cost a premium.  If he wants bargains or even value for money he needs to move his attention away from the Premiership and look to the lower leagues for young talent, or abroad for more experience.

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