By now you’ve no doubt noticed the dawdling affect the World Cup has had on the transfer rumor cycle, and while some see this as a welcomed development, it is nevertheless a change to our natural summer cycles. We’re supposed to wake up every day and see Roma connected to seven different players, while offering steep discounts on their own players to domestic rivals; it’s just the natural state of affairs in the summertime, so it’s a bit unnerving to see that cycle broken so swiftly and completely.
Of course, given the world of hypermedia in which we live, nothing is ever really gone, it just lies dormant, but someone still has to feed the beast, and in this instance the delicate morsel of food tempting the rumor monster is our very own Alisson Becker, this summer’s most sought after goalkeeper.
A few days ago we jumped on a Mundo Deportivo report that claimed Roma and Real Madrid (or at least some of their intermediaries) had agreed to a framework of deal potentially worth €80 million, and while a small portion of that would be based on bonuses, it would instantly make Alisson the most expensive keeper ever, by nearly a €30 million margin.
Surely if there were ever a team capable of floating that fee it’s Real Madrid, a club that can practically print its own money. Never one to be taken advantage of though, Real have reportedly balked at that price, preferring instead to land the Brazilian Don Draper for the tidy sum of €60 million—still a recording breaking fee, but not quite the price Monchi has set for his star keeper.
In the face of that €20 million gap, Real president Florentino Perez was quick to quip that if the price for Alisson was that high he “can go to Liverpool.” While there are certainly other options on the transfer market, none have quite the same level of heat as Alisson, yet that doesn’t instantly give Monchi added leverage.
Should David De Gea or Jan Oblak or whomever remain with their current clubs, and Alisson has a stellar turn in Russia, then, yeah, Monchi can probably grab that extra twenty million, but as it stands right now he’s going to have to use all his powers to win this negotiation, particularly as Real seems to be the only team Alisson has on his wish list.
This is, in some ways, reminiscent of the Kawhi Leonard-San Antonio Spurs conundrum, one in which the player wants to leave for one or two specific locations (the Lakers or the Clippers it seems), thereby weakening his current teams bargaining position.
So which will win out—Monchi’s prolific sales track record, Real’s unwillingness to go past €60 million or maybe, just maybe, Pallotta’s 0% chance claim?
Outside of the drama unfolding in Russia, this might be the footballing story to watch this summer.