Manchester United have done something Chelsea didn’t expect in Mason Mount transfer talks

Manchester United have done something Chelsea didn’t expect in Mason Mount transfer talks

It’s a fine line Manchester United are trying to tread at the moment, and one that is partly of their own making. They’re finding it’s harder to shred a reputation in the transfer market than it is to gain one.

For too long they have been considered a soft touch when it comes to deals and they’ve undoubtedly contributed to that perception in recent years. Club chiefs talk of a ‘United tax’ when it comes to transfers and there is an element of that, but there’s also a feeling that clubs believe they can be fleeced.

As one of the most famous clubs in the world, United sells. They get linked with hundreds of players every summer, the majority of them when there is smoke but no fire. Agents will use their name to flush out interest elsewhere in their client or earn a deal at their existing club.

There is also a feeling that as a commercial behemoth, the price can be upped when United come calling. They asked about a young striker last summer for whom there were bids of £15million in. When it was United on the other end of the line, they were told the price was £28million.

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This is what the club has to deal with in every transfer window. False rumours, the use of their name for no other reason than it’s one of the most famous names in the world, and selling clubs driving a hard bargain purely because of who they are.

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But there is more to it than that as well. It’s four years since United agreed to pay a world-record fee for a defender of £80million for Harry Maguire. Not only was that price astronomical, but they paid almost all of it in one instalment to Leicester City. That is rare in modern deals, as evidenced by the fact that last year United still owed £307million in transfer fees.

It’s less than a year since United went to £85million to sign Antony from Ajax, an astonishing fee when United had threatened to walk away in July when the Brazilian winger was valued at €20million less by Ten Hag’s former club. When they resurrected the deal in the final days of the window, the price went from €80million to €100million because it was too late for Ajax to sign a replacement.

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  • June 25, 2023