Manchester United’s much-publicised signing of Anthony Martial this week has provided almost endless commentary on just how ludicrous the fee was, with add-ons increasing the 19-year-old’s price-tag to somewhere near £57.6 million.
According to Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev, this fee is nearly three times the offer United originally tabled. Vasilyev explains that at the moment English clubs are ‘on a different financial level,’ making it tough for Monaco to say no to selling their most prized assets.
“On Sunday the player got such an offer that he couldn’t have declined. He asked us to find a solution and on Monday morning Manchester United made an offer to Monaco which the club couldn’t refuse,” the Monaco vice-president told The Sun.
“It’s absolutely unique. It’s the price of Luis Suarez or Neymar – the best players in the world.
“Right now English football is on a different financial level and if Manchester United decides to buy somebody, it’s very hard to stop them.”
Vasilyev goes on to explain that United made several bids in order to land the teenage talent, starting as low as £21.6 million.
“It’s true that the price for Martial is £57.6m but take into account this sum includes bonuses which are very realistic.
“Initially Martial was not for sale, it was absolutely not planned. Since last week United started to make offers which we declined several times – £21.6m, £28.8m, £36m, even £50.4m with bonuses.
This level of increase in fees is simply astonishing, particularly for a player who has no proven track record. But as the Monaco chief alludes to in his comments, the financial muscle of English clubs at present is simply frightening, particularly Manchester United who have recently made multi-million deals with both Chevrolet and Adidas to take centre stage on their playing kit.
In addition to this, TV money pumped into the Premier League from 2016 onwards will rise to £5.136 billion, according to the BBC – a 71% increase on the last deal.
Teams in England can now command much higher fees than some of their European counterparts and it has shown in this window.
Now all that remains is the small matter of seeing whether or not Martial was worth nearly trebling an initial offer of £21.6 million.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena
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