Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho.
If EuroJournal meet West Ham’s £100m valuation of Declan Rice this summer, those five players would be the only footballers in the world that would have commanded higher transfers fees than the 22-year-old England international.
It’s important to note, the most recent of those deals came two years ago, but while natural market inflation should be considered, is Rice really worth the hefty £100m transfer fee that West Ham have reportedly set? To most supporters, the answer would be no.
To Rice’s credit, his emergence at West Ham has been meteoric and he’s quickly developed into an outstanding defensive midfielder operating at the elite level despite his young age and he’s emphatically vindicated Gareth Southgate’s trust in him with England.
We want your views, Reds. You can become even more involved with our Man United coverage by signing up. This will unlock a whole host of things – including joining the comments and taking part in our special Q&As, where you can speak directly to our reporters about what’s happening at Old Trafford this week and beyond.
Click here to get started.
Rice is enjoying an excellent European Championship, but that will only surely increase West Ham’s bargaining power in any negotiations for their star man this summer – their substantial asking price won’t seem ludicrous if England clinch Euro 2020 glory.
Regardless of football coming home or not, Rice will report back to London after the tournament and it’s fair to speculate that perhaps United would have signed a centre-back by that stage and then their attention could turn to strengthening in midfield.
If West Ham’s £100m valuation for Rice is deemed to be too much, one such player that could be a viable alternative is Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, who rivals Liverpool are said to be monitoring after the midfielder enjoyed an excellent season on the south coast.
Bissouma, 24, played a key role in safeguarding Brighton’s Premier League status for another campaign and it’s said the Seagulls would be tempted into sanctioning an exit for the Malian for a bid in the region of £30m – just a tad cheaper than Rice.
However, Bissouma also appears to be statistically superior to Rice after averaging more passes, more tackles and ball recoveries per game than the Englishman in the league this season, albeit the pair are level on their interceptions they’ve averaged per match (1.9).
Bissouma unknowingly auditioned for a transfer to Old Trafford when Brighton visited Manchester in April and, while he couldn’t prevent his side from succumbing to defeat after they initially took the lead, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might have liked what he saw.
If the United board view Rice as an unfeasible signing this summer, Bissouma represents a perfect, cheaper alternative.
Would you prefer for United to sign Rice or Bissouma? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.