Reports in the press suggest that one of the rumoured Manchester United signings, Valencia’s Uros Racic, may be let go by the Spanish team for a fraction of his pretty significant buy-out clause. According to these reports, Los Murciélagos are willing to reduce the asking price from the original £92 million to around £28 million, due to the ongoing financial crisis.
The pandemic that has reduced football to virtual sporting events in the first half of the year has left football clubs across Europe with major holes in their budgets. Few people expected this year’s delayed transfer window to come with spectacular, expensive transfers – and the rumours around Racic seem to confirm this theory.
Not that the Red Devils would be frugal – on the contrary. The recent history of the team is filled with high-profile, spectacular and expensive transfers.
Romelu Lukaku (2017)
Romelu Lukaku spent five seasons at the Belgian club Anderlecht before leaving the country for the Premier League. He joined Chelsea in 2011 and stayed in England until 2019. During this time, he strengthened the ranks of several EPL teams before ending up with Manchester United in 2017.
Chelsea paid £10 million to sign the then-young player in 2011. In 2017, Manchester United paid £75 million to have him. And when he left Manchester for Milan, the Italian team paid a club-record €80 million to have him.
Harry Maguire (2019)
Harry Maguire was born, raised, and signed his first professional contract in Sheffield. Like many other players before him, he also tried his hand (or better said, feet) at several Premier League teams before finding a new home in Manchester.
Maguire was rumoured to leave Leicester City for Manchester United in 2018 but the move did not happen: Leicester manager Claude Puel made a public announcement in August that the player would only set foot in Old Trafford to play against the resident team.
One year later, after intense negotiations, the two teams struck a deal: the Red Devils gave £80 million and got themselves the most expensive defender in the world.
Paul Pogba (2016)
Manchester United’s club-record transfer fee is the one paid by the club to sign Paul Pogba in 2016.
Pogba graduated from the Manchester United youth academy in 2011 but only spent a season with the team back then, playing in just three league games, then left for Juventus – and the parting of the ways between the two was not very amicable, Sir Alex Ferguson accusing the player of disrespecting the team.
After four seasons in Turin, though, Pogba returned to Old Trafford in a transfer worth £89.3 million, breaking Gareth Bale’s record.