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Good Deal/Bad Deal - Evaluating transfer fees for Skrtel, Courtois, Bannan and Mignolet

Southampton v Liverpool - Premier League

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Martin Skrtel of Liverpool and Rickie Lambert of Southampton compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary’s Stadium on March 16, 2013 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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Good Deal/Bad Deal’ is a column that evaluates the latest rumored transfer fees for players throughout Europe to determine whether or not the potential buyer will be getting good value.

In today’s edition we take a look at proposed fees for Martin Skrtel, Thibaut Courtois, Barry Bannan and Simon Mignolet.

£12 million for Martin Skrtel (Liverpool --> Arsenal)

The Sun is reporting that Arsenal is contemplating a £12 million bid for out of favor Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel.

After a stunning 2011-12 campaign saw Skrtel named fans’ Player of the Year, the 2012-13 season was a horror show for the Slovak. It was so bad, in fact, that the defender himself described it as the worst season of his Liverpool career.

Center-backs in their late 20s (Skrtel is 28 years old) don’t typically fetch more than £10 million, and that’s if they’re lighting it up. So why on earth would any club - let alone the frugal minds at Arsenal - be willing to pay £12 million for an out of form center-back?

If Arsenal pay £12 million for Skrtel that’s a terrible deal.

£1 million for Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea --> Atletico Madrid)

Comfortable with Petr Cech’s dominance at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are set to demand a £1 million fee from Atletico Madrid to take Thibaut Courtois on loan for a third successive season.

I’ve previously written about my admiration for Courtois on this very blog. Courtois is one of the most talented keepers in the world and, in my humble opinion, will one day be the best keeper in the world. This year he helped guide Atletico to a third place finish in La Liga with a league best 31 goals conceded, nine fewer than the second best mark held by Real Madrid.

That’s why Chelsea put a £20 million price tag on his head three months ago. But with no clubs looking to pony that up, the Blues are now willing to take £ 1 million for a year of his services.

That feels like a darn good deal for Atletico.

£2 million for Barry Bannan (Aston Villa --> Swansea City)

Rumor from the Telegraph today is that Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is weighing up a £2 million bid for Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan, who has been told he can leave the club.

Anyone who’s watched little Barry Bannan scurry around the pitch knows he’s a handful. Shifty, creative and with pick-up like a jackal in heat, Bannan can be a nightmare for defenses. But he rarely is. The reason? Bannan’s battled a number of niggly little injuries since making his league debut for Villa three years ago and he plays for a club that lacks complimentary talent.

Put the 23 year old on a similarly situated footballing side like Swansea, however, and as long as he’s healthy, the boy will flourish.

Remember the good deal Swansea made last summer for £2 million? This would make it two in a row.

£6.5 million for Simon Mignolet (Sunderland --> Liverpool)

With Pepe Reina reportedly on his way out of Anfield this summer, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is reportedly willing to drop £6.5 million for Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet.

The 25 year old Belgian is coming off yet another very promising season with the Black Cats, who finished one place above the relegation zone in 17th place. Avoiding a drop into the Championship was largely due to the efforts of Mignolet, who managed 149 saves over 38 Premier League matches and is known for his shot-stopping ability and heightened concentration.

A few weeks ago Liverpool were talking about making moves for Stoke’s Asmir Begovic. Why they switched gears and are now looking at Mignolet, no one seems to know. Regardless, if they can snap him up for £6.5 million that feels like a good deal, although I’d prefer Begovic.