Football clubs around the world are coming to grips with the financial impact of the coronavirus.
Some leagues are returning to the pitch to finish the 2019-20 season but the approximately two-month layoff forced teams to have to go without the revenue that they expected at the start of the season.
With that in mind, it was expected that the upcoming transfer window will be unlike any in recent history for the simple fact that clubs wouldn’t have the funds necessary to make lavish signings.
However, according to Willy Sagnol, a former French footballer who played the majority of his career with FC Bayern Munich, the pandemic has had little impact on the value of Kylian Mbappé and Neymar Jr.
During a recent interview with RMC Sport (via Le10Sport), Sagnol stated that PSG’s recent negotiations with Inter Milan for Mauro Icardi indicate the market is steady when it comes to the world’s best players.
“It is a good thing that Mauro Icardi stays at PSG, he showed that he can score goals even if we would like him to be more dynamic sometimes in the game.”
“Here we are close to the €60 million, the option of purchase was at €70 million, it’s almost the same…we’re not going to be choosy to the nearest €10 million. And then there is his salary at €10 million per year…This shows all the naive, all those nostalgic for old football, who thought that the crisis would bring back to lower transfer levels that it is over!”
“If Icardi is worth €60 million, Agüero is worth €100 million, Mbappé €220 million, and Neymar €250 million. It’s already over, we see that there will be no drop in the madness of transfers and wages.”
I see what Sagnol is trying to say here but he fails to realize that Icardi’s option to buy fee (€70 million) was already below market value. Inter Milan was simply tired of his antics and wanted to send him out on loan this season and attach an enticing fee in hopes of someone paying it to take the player off their books.
I also think Sagnol got it wrong when he said that Neymar is worth more than Mbappé. By no metric is that true.
Ultimately, what a player is worth is determined by how much a club is willing to spend. With both players out of contract with PSG in 2022, we may find out next summer how much they’re truly worth unless they sign an extension to remain in the French capital.
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