€70m for Franck Ribery? Football Has Gone MadBy: The Offside | May 4th, 2009
It must have. Right? Surely that can be the only explanation. Because there’s no logical reason why Manchester United have reportedly lodged…wait for it…a €70m bid for Franck Ribery.
Don’t readjust your screen, rub your eyes or contact your “guy” to ask if you got the wrong stuff – you read that correctly. €70m. £62.5m. $94m. ¥9.3 billion. 106m Swiss francs.
And all this for a man who finished 16th in the Ballon D’Or rankings. (Just don’t mention that to him.)
Don’t get me wrong – Franck Ribery is very good. But he’s not that good. He is not, by any means, €70m good. Nobody is that good, if we’re honest, though you can be assured Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Kaka could/will fetch that sum and more.
From the guardian, one of the few sources which, while not infallible, don’t tend to spit out garbage for the sheer purpose of pageviews:
Manchester United have made an offer of about €70m (£62.5m) for the Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribéry as they close in on a deal that would shatter the world transfer record. Sources in Munich confirmed the bid has been received for the France international, who has made his desire to leave Germany known in the past few weeks.
United’s remarkable offer, which comfortably eclipses the record £44m paid by Real Madrid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001, is contingent on the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Madrid this summer but the approach to Bayern has been firm enough to suggest that the Portuguese’s departure is a near certainty. Although Bayern are understood to have turned down United’s offer, it is considered the first serious move in a negotiation that will eventually bring the winger to Old Trafford.
So they have it on good authority.
The question isn’t Manchester United’s desire to replace Ronaldo – who, it should be said, told the press all of yesterday morning he wouldn’t be moving to Madrid this summer (that 6-2 has done more damage than they could’ve known, eh?) – with Franck. It’s the transfer fee for a small Frenchman which could probably buy a decent sized French football club. It’s the transfer fee for Ribery when, just this decade, Zinedine Zidane, by and large the greatest player of this generation and many before, fetched “only” €66m.
And Franck isn’t upset – he’s wanted out of Bavaria since about two weeks before signing his Bayern contract and only wound up there because
they paid him €8m a year it would net Marseille the largest transfer fee. Just last week he said he’d likely leave Bayern if they don’t make next year’s Champions League – and next week he won’t leave unless the Bavarians win this year’s Champions League.
And all this from a club which is wading up to their necks in debt during times of economic duress. Financially responsible? Hardly. A big middle finger to reason is what it is.
Of course this could be a great deal of hot air, but you get the feeling transfer fees are heading this way again. Between the nearly €90m Ronaldo rumors, the €100m Kaka deal which collapsed in January, andthe (unsubstantiated) rumors that Bill Gates will be swapping Microsoft for Lionel Messi and the mere suggestion that Ribery is worth more than Zidane in his prime, it seems like football’s just gone mad.