Jose Mourinho has revealed that Man United saved millions of pounds this summer by doing their business early as Neymar’s £198m fee to PSG distorted the market drastically. (Fee per Sky Sports.)
The claims certainly have weight to them and also reinstate Mourinho as being one of the most astute mangers in world football. Talking to the Times the Portuguese manager stated, “We thought that something could happen that could change the market forever.” Adding, “after Neymar, everything changed – and changed for the worse in terms of prices.”
The Red Devil’s boss went on to add that the prices for Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku now look relatively cheap and would have been far more had the deals been done after Neymar’s world shattering move to PSG.
When discussing how much Matic and Lukaku would now be worth in a post-Neymar deal market, Mourinho suggested: “I think Lukaku on August 31 would have been £150m. Matic would have been £60m or £70m. Neymar changed everything.”
United’s total spend this summer came to £169.5m (as per Sky Sports) but had the deals been completed later in the window and had Mourinho’s predictions been correct then the total spend from United could have been closer to £300m.
It remains to be seen as to whether Neymar’s £198m fee will have a lasting impact on the football economy but judging by the latest fees to be exchanged for talent, you would find it hard to argue with the self-proclaimed special one.
Barcelona followed suit by spending a total £135m on Ousmane Dembele this summer, while PSG are also said to be set to seal a deal for season-long loanee Kylian Mbappe next July for a fee that is understood to be £166m. (Fees per Sky Sports.)
It certainly is one of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the football economy for some time, but it’s not preventing Mourinho from putting his own positive spin on the market to endorse his intelligence.