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Buy ‘em/Sold - Evaluating transfer fees for Bale, Nani, Benteke and more

Gareth Bale

Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

With the summer transfer window set to swing open opening it’s time to introduce a column worthy of the world’s best trading floors.

‘Buy ‘em/Sold’ evaluates the latest transfer fees proposed for players and managers throughout Europe. If we think the proposed transfer fee is a good deal/has value, we’re buyin’ ‘em. If we think the fee is too rich/over-priced, it’s sold. Got it? Good.

In today’s edition we take a look at proposed fees for Gareth Bale, Nani, Christian Benteke, Roberto Martinez and Jesus Navas. Enjoy.

£80M for Gareth Bale (Tottenham)

Yesterday reports splashed newspapers that Real Madrid were set to line up a massive £60 million bid for Gareth Bale. While an exorbitant amount of money, the bid made sense. Los Blancos are not only flush with cash but they’re preparing to sell Gonzalo Higuain and desperately need to counter rivals Barcelona, who recently purchased Neymar.

So I was buying £60 million.

But now today the Mirror claims Madrid will need more than that because Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are all prepared to pay £80 million for the Welshman.

Do I hear you laughing? Because I should!

That’s not only crazy money, that’s Cristiano Ronaldo money. And while Bale is terrific he’s still not nearly as polished as Ronaldo was when he left United for the Spanish capital. What’s more, the times they have achanged - and FIFA Fair Play Rules have to be taken into account. It simply wouldn’t make sense to pony up that kind of money.

Sold £80 million for Bale.

£15M for Nani (Manchester United)

Arsenal are reportedly contemplating a £15m move for Manchester United winger Nani to which, we say with an air of contempt, SOLD! Seriously, we’re selling £15M for Nani all day long and twice on Sunday.

Since coming to Old Trafford from 2006-07 the Portuguese has done nothing but rot out promise. He never scored more than 9 goals in a season and steadily made fewer appearances each season under Ferguson.

Making matters worse, Nani has a tendency to act like a primadonna. It just seems ridiculous that Arsene Wenger would want to waste £15 million on a player like that when he already owns the likes of Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

£17.5M for Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)

This summer there will be few players who are sought after more than Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke. Today, the Sun reports that the Belgian is the target of a £17.5m swoop by Atletico Madrid to replace Radamel Falcao.

Really, Atletico? £17.5 million for Benteke? Yeah, you and everyone else on the planet.

There’s no way on earth Villa are even going to consider such a paltry sum for their prized possession. So yeah, sure, we’re buyin’ £17.5 million for Benteke.

£5M for Roberto Martinez (Wigan)

After Roberto Martinez informed Wigan chairman Dave Whelan that he wouldn’t be managing the Latics next season, Whelan gave the Spanish manager his blessing. Of course, with Whelan all blessings come with caveats.

Yesterday, the caveat was that if Everton wanted Martinez, they’d have to pay £2 million. Today, the caveat is that if Everton want Martinez, they have to pay £5 million. Whelan’s reasoning for the increase - because Martinez doesn’t have a fixed salary. Huh!?!?

What does Whelan think he’s doing? Re-writing the book on transfer values?

The fact is that Martinez has 1 year left on his contract. He’s already announced that he isn’t going to re-sign. That means one of two things: either he signs with a new club for a modest fee or he manages Wigan for 12 more months and walks on a free.

In others words, SOLD. Sold £5 million all day long, Dave Whelan.

That would be a totally ridiculous amount to pay for a manager - especially one who couldn’t keep his club in the Premier League.

The Latics chairman should take £1-2 million tops for Martinez and be happy about it.

£25.6M for Jesus Navas (Sevilla)

Manchester City is reportedly ramping up a £25.6 million offer for Sevilla winger Jesus Navas.

The thing about Navas is he is not, I repeat, NOT, a goal-scorer. Notably, in all 36 of his La Liga matches this season the 27 year old failed to score. In fact, he’s never scored more than five times in a La Liga season.

That’s not to say Navas isn’t an effective player. He’s a wonderfully skilled player with searing pace and a strong ability to get the ball in the box. As a result, he gets his fair share of assists (around 10 per year) but does that kind of output warrant a £25.6 million transfer fee?

Not in my book. I’m selling Navas at £25.6 million ‘til the cows come home.