Transfer negotiations are a complex matter. Long gone are the days when a phone call and a short meeting would practically conclude a deal. Football is now a worldwide business, with exuberant expenses for football clubs.
A “bargain buy” with an increased re-sale value makes clubs cautious when they come to sell. An impulsive or quick decision could cost the club millions of pounds. Patience is the key for both parties when trying to conclude a transfer.
Newcastle have been criticised by some fans for ‘lacking transfer ambition,’ when lodging very low bids for International players. The club has allegedly made a £4 million bid for French full back Mathieu Debuchy and an £8 million offer for Dutch striker Luuk De Jong – both were turned down.
In Debuchy’s case, Lille coach Rudi Garcia even had a sly dig at NUFC, saying:
“Newcastle have faxed an offer of £4m (€5m) but I think they might have mistaken Mathieu for another player.”
Going public like this is all part of the transfer strategy to gain maximum revenue for one of your prized assets. Newcastle probably EXPECTED their first bid to be turned down, which begs the question -
Why submit such a low bid in the first place?
The transfer negotiations are a game. The buying team will never show it’s card (transfer money) in one go. It is just like a game of poker, first you ‘bluff’ and then you show your ‘hand’. Newcastle’s low bid would be to test the selling club’s resolve. A transfer fee, usually much higher, would have already been set by the selling club, but the tiresome haggling process must be carried out.
In Luuk De Jong’s case, news broke that Newcastle have made an £8 million bid for the Dutchman. In the eyes on many people this seems to be a fair initial offer, albeit on the lower end of his price range. As with any negotiation process, the first bid is usually rejected, but it does hint at the maximum bid Newcastle are likely to submit.
These mind games are carried out in public as well as privately. One should not be surprised if the media was given information of the bid by Twente, with the intention of attracting more interest to start a bidding war among interested parties.
Is this the right way to go about it in the transfer window?
With over ten weeks left before the transfer window closes, I’d suggest Newcastle have got it spot on. We should not pay over the odds. Obviously Graham Carr and his scouting team’s work will not go unnoticed throughout Europe, and selling teams are more difficult to deal with, knowing that their players could be worth three times as much after a couple of seasons. Therefore the club has to move on to other targets if an agreement cannot be reached.
Newcastle cannot afford to enter the final week of the transfer window, still pursuing our list of targets. That is the time when clubs pay inflated prices for players.
Author: Daniel Abela is a 30-year old Newcastle fan living in Balzan, Malta. He has been a supporter of the Black & White since 1992. His favourite memory is Craig Bellamy’s late goal against Feyenoord in the Champions League.