Manchester United legend Gordon Hill has blasted this summer’s transfer fees, likening them to ‘telephone numbers’, and agreeing with England manager Gareth Southgate’s assessment that the spending is unsustainable.
Hill was speaking exclusively on the UnitedInFocus podcast and said that United would have had a unique problem should they have decided to sell David De Gea. “The problem they had is if you sell David De Gea, for, say, £100m, you know a replacement goalkeeper for Manchester United is going to cost at least £100,” Hill said. “It’s ridiculous, but it’s horses for courses, it’s just telephone numbers now… you buy players but then the player has to produce. Clubs have got to get in the habit of staggering these payments based on how the player performs as opposed to just paying out the money and then the player has an absolute nightmare season or a new manager comes in and doesn’t like him so sells him for £30m. We’re talking serious money here.”
Hill has long been an admirer of Everton’s Ross Barkley and Toffees boss Ronald Koeman last week admitted he would allow the player to leave.
However, reservations remain about Barkley’s ability to reach the potential suggested earlier in his career and Hill says that if United were to go in for him, they should make a responsible offer along the lines of that which he has earlier suggested.
“If we were going to buy Ross Barkley I’d go to Everton and offer them a staggered deal based on performances,” he said. “An up front fee of £20m and further fees of £10m based on how well he does. That way you’re not shooting yourself in the foot if it doesn’t come off and you’re trying to recoup £30m for a player you spent £50m on.”
Hill was speaking on the UnitedInFocus.com podcast.
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