It can feel, at times, as if the economy of the transfer market is seriously broken.
The prices slapped in players’ heads gave been steadily creeping up since the dawn of time, but in recent years, the amount of money commanded by clubs to secure a talent has skyrocketed in a way almost entirely incongruous to the belt-tightening and penny-pinching that is going on pretty much everywhere else.
It’s that kind of astronomical inflation that can see a Championship midfielder like Aston Villa’s John McGinn valued at around £50 million, as reported by The Sun, and that leads to huge valuations of players who might otherwise be deemed rookies.
In a market like that, the only point of reference is the comparative fee demand by other similar deals, and that’s why Newcastle United fans can be supremely annoyed by the Daily Mail’s report that Manchester United are planning an initial bid of £15 million for Sean Longstaff, plus add-ons.
Considering United have just paid out £50 million for Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace, as reported by the BBC, it makes no sense that they believe they can land the midfielder for such a reduced fee.
Longstaff is no world beater just yet, and he has only made 12 senior appearances for the Magpies, but he has the potential to be just as impressive as Wan-Bissaka, if not even more so.
This is a player with a pass completion rate of 80.9% and who finished last season with a Whoscored rating of 6.86.
In the modern market, £15 million is peanuts, and quite frankly, the Toon Army have every right to feel insulted by the figure.