Tony Cascarino thinks big-money transfers will be a thing of the past following Ed Woodward’s comments about Manchester United’s summer plans.
The Red Devils’ executive vice-chairman said it will not be ‘business as normal’ in the summer and that current transfer rumours – one which has seen Tottenham striker Harry Kane linked with a £200m move to Old Trafford – ‘ignore the realities that face sport’.
We still do not know when, and if, the 2019/20 season will be completed and when the transfer window will open, while the coronavirus pandemic has seen plenty of uncertainty over the financial future of clubs.
Cascarino told the Weekend Sports Breakfast that world-record deals, such as recent ones involving Neymar and Philippe Coutinho, have no chance of happening this summer.
He said: “I think Ed Woodward will realise that it has a golden opportunity to still make big money and there will be players available for cheaper rates than they would have been.
“I think that’s obvious because there is a European market and they will have been affected but I also feel he knows he cannot go, and wouldn’t want to, be spending i.e. £200million on Harry Kane.
“Those deals aren’t going to happen. I think they might have happened before the pandemic. There could have been a plus £100million deal.
“I think that Neymar deal or Coutinho I think that was a bit of a one off moment I didn’t really fell that would be consistent so it is slightly different anyway. United are in a very powerful position with the finance and muscle they’ve already got.”
Cascarino also does not believe some of the reports that suggest big-name stars will be available for such cheap sums in the summer.
He thinks it will be reflective of the financial situations clubs face.
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He added: “These are businessmen, they are not suddenly going to be panicking and sell Harry Kane for £40million, that is not going to happen.
“I saw this week that PSG would let Mbappe go for £40million and I just don’t see that. I still think it will be reflective of the money in the game. I don’t think it will continue on that incredible fast train ride journey where you are going ‘is there going to be a £250million player’. I think that will be ended because the costs of the contracts as well.
“When Neymar signed for PSG for nearly €200million, his annual yearly salary was nearly €45million and if you put that over four or five years, you are talking about a €400million deal.
“I just couldn’t see that continuing. I feel it will have an affect but not to the extent that you will get absolute bargains out there.
“There might be some people who will be on a free. Like Vertonghen who has said this week he is in a better position because he is a free transfer and will be a much more coveted player. He’s 33 years old and is not going to come with a cheap salary.
“I think there will be takers, as he still has something to offer.
“But I don’t see a £200million player. I think if you were going to get £100million or £120million I think that will be closer to the very best around at the moment.
“Mbappe might be around £150million and if Real Madrid can get Mbappe for £150million they would.”