The news is making the rounds that Manchester City have made a staggering £100m bid for Jack Grealish. So what could possibly be wrong with that? The club has pursued just two transfer targets all summer - Grealish and Harry Kane.
Manager Pep Guardiola has hinted at not shaking up the team, and understandably so. The team played so well last season and broke records by reaching the Champions League final for the first time in the club’s history.
The target should be to go one better this term or in the next few years. That will only be achievable if the core of the team remains intact.
The players have built an understanding over the years while playing together. Shaking things up can lead to a loss of momentum, which could require starting all over again.
In short, bringing in too many new players could destabilize the team. That will mean throwing the work put in over the last four years under Guardiola’s tutelage out of the window.
It’s simply unnecessary.
Yet, the team cannot stand still. Fresh legs still need to come in even if it’s just to provide competition. That will keep the players fired up and seeking to improve on what they have already done.
At the moment, only three positions need reinforcements; the left-back, midfield and striking role. The club is in a difficult position regarding what to do with Benjamin Mendy. The Frenchman has failed to live up to expectations since joining from Monaco. But his price tag makes it difficult to sell him.
The midfield is currently good. But with both Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan on the wrong side of 30, a fresh pair of legs will add some steel into the position.
The departure of Sergio Aguero also created a void that needs to be filled. Harry Kane fits the bill. And so the club seeks to make just two key signings this summer that will improve the squad.
Unfortunately, the targets are not easy to hit. They are both key men in their current sides. They captain the teams and have emotional ties to the clubs.
Ordinarily, they wouldn’t want to leave. But that also comes with a huge price - not fulfilling their personal ambitions. Both players are too good to waste their careers in mid-table teams failing to win trophies.
In the end the number of trophies won in a career is really important for players. So it’s understandable if they both want to leave.
City provides the perfect opportunity to make those dreams come true. Sensing the players also want to come, the club is pressing hard to make the deals happen.
As can be expected, Daniel Levy is proving the more difficult to deal with. That could be the reason an offer has been tabled for Grealish first.
But if the reports are to be believed, offering £100m for the Aston Villa man can be problematic.
First of all, it makes a deal for Kane more difficult. Levy will look at this and promptly raise his demands for the striker. The reasoning will be that if City are offering so much to Aston Villa, they can definitely pay more to Tottenham.
Will the club’s hierarchy be willing to pay over £260m for just two players? That’s doubtful.
The second problem here is that starting off with £100m seems rather too generous. Even if the club wanted to pay that much, why make the first bid so big? Villa could easily sense desperation here and demand for more.
Starting off at £100m is definitely not the best negotiating tactic. If Villa demand for more and Tottenham remain resolute given the circumstances, City may end up walking away from both deals as has happened before.
In a window where Manchester United got a very young Jadon Sancho for £73m, and could pick up both Raphael Varane and Kieran Trippier for less than a hundred grand, why should City be overpaying for players by so much?
Granted, the situation is not the same. Yet, some savvy negotiation could go a long way in securing both deals for much less.
The third problem with this bid is the fact that of the two players, Kane should be priority. That’s given the biggest need in the team. Grealish would come into the team as an additional player to complement the midfield. But Kane comes in to make a significant difference.
Based on that, City should be bidding for the England captain as a matter of priority. Even if that’s the only deal secured, the club can walk away with a feeling of accomplishment.
Which of the two players will you rather miss out on?