First and foremost I feel the need to tell you about the title. I was really having difficulties to come up with a title for this post. So my buddy @ from the strikerless came up with this title and all the credit is due to him. All the grievances and bad thoughts about the title are on me since I actually decided to use it. But into the business at hand.
This post is under my Finnish Legend series but it still totally reflects the way I approach player transactions either in or out in Football Manager series. You could say I am the worst “buyer” around Football Manager since all the offers or starting values seem overpriced to me at the start. In another way all the offers I receive from my players seem laughable most of the time and are straight away rejected without hesitation. So in that field, I spend a lot of time negotiating deals to both ways trying to keep outgoing cash flow at minimum and incoming at maximum. Easy as pie eh?
Also, I consider myself fairly poor explaining myself in just words so we might want to look into a couple of examples on outgoing transfer and player I bought in. I try to go through this giving insight why these two transactions felt acceptable to me.
First one was actually not a transfer I was looking for but a forced upon me. Kostas Manolas. I was really upset that he was taken away activating his release clause and therefore leaving me in scramble mode trying to find a replacement. But what does the cold hard cash tell us? Was it, after all, a good deal for us? Let´s have a look at the numbers here.
I bought Manolas in the summer of 2016 from Real Madrid which was a straight cash deal of 12.5 m. He settled in for a 5.2m/year contract for the next 4 years. 5.2mx4 would give us 20.8m in wages during that time and raise the total amount money invested in Manolas to 33.3m in the situation where he would be 29. We would have received perhaps performances that could be held as fair against that investment. Do I believe I could have got 33.3m out of the deal selling him at the age of 29? Who knows, might have but I doubt that. When Bayern came in and activated the release clause Manolas had served us roughly one year. Costing me during that time a total of 17.7m investment in his services. Again, is that amount acceptable towards the performances he put? This sort of thinking always boils down to the point where we start being philosophical about the money paid to football players. So let us not go there now. I say I was content with the performance I got from him. He was my best-paid player on my team during that one year period.
So back to the clause. In Manolas´s case, it was 28.5m in euros which covered the 17.7m investment and poured in 10.8m on top of that which I used 7.5 to replace him with Grillo leaving me 3.5 m to put into Grillos wages 2.05/year for over a year and a half. Obviously, things are more complex than that.
I had already signed Lopez for a steal price of 4.8m with 1.82 m/year in wages for the next 3 years. Also, Emmanuel Mammana was already in the team pushing for sizable playing time for the team. Also, I had off-loaded other players lightening the wage bill even more before the Manolas deal from Bayern. So considering all of this I could say it was a good deal for us.
Moving on to the transfers coming in which seem to be the harder area for me.
I was on a lookout for an AMC for my team to make my 4-4-1-1 version of GenoaBlast a viable option to use more often since Bonazzoli seems to be liking being used as a sole striker. Not having seen that beforehand I only had Adam Lallana who could play that role comfortably and he was on loan from Liverpool and not an option I would go on a permanent basis. Also, I needed the player to be versatile in a way that allowed him to be used on the wings while I was using either the 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 versions of GB. I looked a couple of options from Austria but both would go in the field of overspending without any reasonable expectancy of getting the full value to my investment. Quite frustrated already I stumbled on this prospect on the transfer list.
Mario Asensio was transfer listed by Real Madrid with a fee of 7.5m and value of 13.25m He still had 3 1/2 years on his contract with 2.75/year. His wage hit would be 9.6m roughly to see out his contract in Madrid and adding that to his 13.25 value made him lucrative target for me if they would start making deals from that 7.5m
Falling short on the mental side of attributes at 21 he really has something to show more than Madrid gave him the opportunities for. I was quite sure if I could reel him in with the reasonable investment he would be quite low-risk purchase for my Sampdoria team considering he would see value rise from that 13.25 after not being on TL in my team and getting steady playing time. As seen in the picture I could use him comfortably in multiple slots in the midfield getting him opportunities to help my team on different versions of GB. So in with the money talk. Starting off with some playful poking on low fees with Madrid it was soon clear they would only discuss above the 7.5m mark which was a fairly reasonable point of entry for negotiations. Ultimately Madrid found their sweet spot around 9.5m which still was quite near the wage hit they would suffer keeping the player in their team.
Not really wanting to throw that money straight towards them I suggested giving the 6m upfront and 3.5 after 50 league appearances which Madrid accepted leaving us to sort out the details with the player. That 3.5 is due sometime around latter parts of next season and I will happily pay up if he plays up to projection I have for him. In that case, he will be valued almost double the fee I eventually end up paying for him.
Asensio actually ended up being my highest paid player for the moment. 6.05m/year until 2022. A quite hefty amount of 27,2 in wages I will pay him in the coming years until the end of his contract. With the fee I paid the whole investment would go up to 36,7m at the end of his contract while he would be 25. So if he does not totally falter during that time he will not move anything less than around 40m bid from Sampdoria if it comes near his contract. To sweeten the deal for the club side contract was included a 47m release clause if giants would come knocking with a purpose.
Look at him now. Such a happy fellow enjoying some rise in the value.
So just a quick glimpse of how I go about wheeling and dealing about players.