Like that friend who advised you to invest in AOL in the mid-90s, or, that guy who told you not to spend your novelty Bitcoin on pizza back in 2010, sometimes all it takes is one or two massive calls to make you a trusted name in whatever it is you’re selling. And so it goes for transfer rumors as well, where “Paris United” burst onto the scene last summer with their correct calls on Neymar and Mbappé, sticking to their guns while common sense just shook its head and laughed at the absurdity of it all.
We all know how that turned out for common sense. (Hint: not good.)
The market in the wake of those two deals has gone absolutely bonkers. Two years ago we lamented that £30m was the new £20m, which then quickly became £40m, and before we could blink, suddenly every good player was closer to £100m. Remember when Manchester City paid £50m for Bernardo Silva and that seemed outrageous? That wouldn’t buy you a third of Philippe Coutinho today!
So if Coutinho commands £160m and Van Dijk command £75m, how much would the Premier League’s best player fetch? Eden Hazard joked that he could be worth £1b (that’s billion with a ‘b’) earlier this season, but what about the real best player? How much would N’Golo Kanté fetch on the open market these days? (Chelsea paid £32m 18 months ago.)
Not that we’ll ever find out, hopefully, though not for a lack of trying. That’s the word from the outfit mentioned at the top, Paris United, who claim that PSG sporting director Antero Henrique has not only identified N’Golo Kanté as a replacement for the aging Thiago Motta, but has even met with the Chelsea midfielder’s agent.
That alone of course doesn’t mean much — it’s what agents and sporting directors do! — and Kanté is said to not be swayed by the money factor (the man drives a used Mini, after all, or used to before being involved in a fender-bender a few days ago) and he chose Chelsea over PSG once already, but as the Parisians showed last summer, where there is money, there is often a way.
Should we be concerned? Not any more than the constant stream of Real Madrid stories regarding Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. In fact, far less so, probably.