Why do Arsenal always negotiate? Why do they not pay the asking price?
That is what Arsenal fans have cried in recent weeks as we negotiate deals for Kieran Tierney and Wilfried Zaha.
It shows the media bias against Arsenal that they make such a big deal out of Arsenal negotiating the price. They make it appear that we are the only club to do so.
This week we have seen Juventus make an initial offer of £58.3million for Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt. Juventus’ proposed offer includes £49.3m paid up front, with £9m in add-ons.
We then have Manchester United reportedly offering £70million for Leicester City’s Harry Maguire. Leicester want £90million.
Finally a deal that actually went through. Tottenham signed Tanguy Ndombele for an initial £56.5m but fee could still rise to £65m. Lyon were reportedly holding out for £72million paid upfront.
Negotiating is part of business. Part of every day life. Whether it is a transfer fee, players wages, a hour, car or building materials. Everyone negotiates. And if you go and buy a car or a house without negotiating, well more full you.
Yet it is only Arsenal that get criticised for negotiated.
Some might say that Arsenal’s problem is they always go in too low, and “incense” the selling club. But the reality is Arsenal will value a player at a certain price, and will begin negotiations at a lower price.
Take the Wilfried Zaha deal.
Arsenal’s 1st offer is £40million. Crystal Palace are reportedly demanding £100million. The clubs are a long way apart. What would be a “fair” price for Zaha?
Last season Manchester City signed Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City.
How does Mahrez’s stats for the 2 Premier League seasons prior to him joining Manchester City in 2018 compare to Zaha’s last 2 seasons?
Mahrez obviously had a very good 2015/16 season that is not included in the above. Man City also have history of over paying for players to secure them. They can afford to do that with their bottomless pit of money.
On the assists, it has to be remembered that Mahrez was a set piece taker. He also took penalties. Zaha does neither.
I think it is safe to say that £60million is probably a reasonable price for Zaha based on what Manchester City paid for Mahrez.
Some will now argue “If Zaha is valued at £60million, why do we not just pay £60million”. That is because Palace want £100m.
Starting at £60million leaves you with no where to go.
Picture the scenario. You are buying a house that is on the market for £500,000. You think you can get it for £480,000. £480,000 is not your first offer. You would probably go in at £450,000. 10% less. This gives you negotiating room.
If you go straight in at £580,000, it means when you negotiate, you can only negotiate above what you believe to be what you value them out.
Back to Arsenal. By offering £40million, it then gives them the space to do a deal up towards £60million. If Arsenal started at £60million, Palace would still demand £100million and Arsenal would have to negotiate up from there.
When you look at the prices being quoted, especially by mid-table clubs, you understand why teams are negotiating hard.
Leicester City reportedly want £90million for Harry Maguire
In turn they have reportedly been quoted £40million for Burnley’s James Tarkowski
They also reportedly have a cheaper option of going for Lewis Dunk for £30million
Now imagine a scenario where you have bought both Tarkowski and Dunk at their clubs “asking price”. £70million spent on a mid-table defence.
And that is why teams negotiate.