Napoli President Aurelio de Laurentiis has said that he wouldn’t have paid more than £30-35 million for Harry Maguire.
The England international’s transfer to Manchester United cost the club a whopping £80 million as claimed by Sky Sports. Maguire came into prominence after having an impressive World Cup in Russia last summer, scoring a goal in England’s quarter-final against Sweden. The 26-year old had a good 18/19 season with Leicester City which eventually resulted in him joining the Red Devils.
Maguire’s arrival should surely help resolve Manchester United’s issues at the back, something which played a key role in them ending 6th in the Premier League, conceding 54 goals. However, the 26-year wasn’t the only centre-back linked to Manchester United as Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly was the club’s next option if they failed to sign Maguire according to the Daily Mail.
Napoli President De Laurentiis said that the Senegal international is worth £250 million, judging on Maguire’s transfer fee. The 70-year old also claimed that the revenue generated by the English clubs was the reason behind the enormous transfer fee of many players.
Speaking to ESPN, De Laurentiis said: “He [Koulibaly] has a clause of £150 million. But for example, in England they paid £85m for a player. In Napoli, I would pay £30-35m. With that in mind, I think Koulibaly’s value is £250 million if they paid that much for that guy.
“The problem of the super cost of players is due to England. In England they gross more money than in France, Spain, Italy and Germany. If a club grosses £800m, they have no problem to offer around £80m, £90m, £100m for one player. There is not a good and fair competition between England and the other countries.”
Koulibaly is arguably a better defender than Maguire for the time being and there’s no doubt that he’d have cost Manchester United more than £80 million.
However, solely blaming the Premier League behind the cost of players doesn’t seem fair on De Laurentiis’ part as many of the world’s most expensive football transfers have seen clubs outside of England spending large chunks of money.
For instance the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and Joao Felix all made a move to clubs in France and Spain in exchange for astronomical transfer fees.