So today (The 11th of January) Manchester United have announced profits of £48 million, and the prudent £500 million bond issue which will save the club some £30 million a year in interest payments (nothing to be sniffed at) The press have of course focused on 'that debt' but with the Glazers effectively wiping out two thirds of the interest payments they would pay every season, means there is minimal doubt that there is money to spend now, and in the future. The Ronaldo money has seriously bumped up the bottom line into a positive figure which looks good on paper, but the bond issue means that a Dimitar Berbatov size transfer fee has just been freed up on an annual basis (I know this doesn't mean it will go on transfers!) It is very clever business, and shows that the American owners are not the dummies we would like to believe they are..it seems that Liverpool acquired those ones.
So the team is not playing well but we have players returning. However, even with everyone fit it is now apparent that we need some more troops. And i don't mean frontline fighters, more like special SAS crack commando ones. The ones that cost a bit of cash. Its time that the manager rolled the dice. Normally i would say wait til the summer but there is a problem. That being it is World Cup year.
The formula reads: Player+Good World Cup+Manchester United Interest=Extortionate Transfer Fee.
Remember when Karel Poborsky had a brilliant Euro 96? One lobbed goal of brilliance just about doubled his transfer fee when Sir Alex went sniffing after the tournament. And i think with all the new money brought into the game by the Middle Eastlands owners and Real Madrid's new found gluttony we will probably see players go for the sort of price we didn't think we would see in this lifetime. Ronnie's £80 mil is gonna look like chicken feed.
So who should the manager go for? Its the age old pub debate with its origins in the sands of time. The next signing is always so precious to the fan. The last player i was desperate for the club to sign was a certain aloof centre forward from Tottenham. We got him at the last minute as we all know, as i spent 18 hours of my life that day glued to Sky Sports News for the confirmation. What a waste of 18 hours that turned out to be. I also obsessed about Owen Hargreaves before he arrived. Month after month i would trail through news items to see if he had finally had his head turned and that Bayern would cave in..its just not a healthy preoccupation!
Now i have a new obsession.
Two players who i think....I KNOW will give us what we need. And market forces may just dictate that if we are swift then we could do the greatest January transfer deal of all time
The two players i want play for a club who are financially in trouble and are technically referred to as 'in the shit'.. That club is Valencia.
David Villa and David Silva are precious commodities. One is a complete goal monster and the other is a creative wizard. Its clear that these are two elements we have sadly missed this season after having it in abundance the last few seasons. And there is every chance that if Spain do absolutely anything at the 2010 World Cup that these two will play major parts..and then we will see the inflation of success kick in.
I don't need to bang on about the qualities of these two..any football fan worth their salt know all about them. But what i will comment on is the economics. Villa's price tag sat in the fifty million bracket only last summer, but the confusion over his on/off transfer to Madrid, coupled with Valencia's desperation to hold on to him for one more season, blew the deal to shreds. Currently, Valencia are near to bankruptcy, with in excess of half a billion Euros worth of pure debt. However they have plucked away with grim determination and currently lie third in La Liga. Surely an aggressive cash bid plus a player or two would seal a deal?
I think £60 million plus Nani would broker a deal. Then again, maybe add Berbatov to that and knock the price down to fifty? I think this would seriously tempt the Spaniards. Two internationals plus a huge bag of cash. It would give them some genuine liquid assets and two players that need a fresh opportunity. It would also mean that we haven't spent the entire Ronaldo transfer and have also lost two high earners off the wage bill. Its a deal that suits all parties.
This is all a bit of a fantasy, but there is no real obstacles in the way..except that if these two become available that Man City would arrive in Spain with a Lear jet full of one hundred million quid of cash to gazump the deal. That's a very real threat. But with some Fergie charm, a very nice wage deal, and the history of Manchester United and Old Trafford displayed like a beacon of light, i seriously think we could broker this...
But if we wait til June we have sweet FA chance of it!
Sometimes you have to break the bank. Villa and Silva would bring an edge to the team that would frighten the whole of Europe. It would also demonstrate to the fans the owners dedication to success...and Chelsea would wet themselves! If we don't get one or two marquee players i think we will be in a vortex of 'ifs' and 'buts'.. I know United have pulled off the seemingly impossible before, but something feels wrong about this year. I think this is the correction to that feeling.