Hoffenheim midfielder Lukas Rupp is worried about the rising transfer fees being paid in modern football.
Just one year after Paul Pogba’s €109 million move to Manchester United, the then-world record has been beaten three times.
The last transfer window saw Neymar become the world’s most expensive player with a €222 million move to Paris Saint-Germain, who also signed Kylian Mbappe in a deal that will cost them €180m. Meanwhile, Barcelona signed Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for a total of €145m.
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Collectively, Premier League clubs spent more than double than any of their European counterparts in another record-breaking summer.
Rupp is the latest voice to speak out about the huge value attached to players, citing Neymar’s move as an example of an “inhuman” change in the game.
“For me, these sums are not okay,” the 26-year-old told Goal. “If you compare these prices with three years ago, it’s mad. No player in the world is worth this money. Whether this is a Neymar or anyone else.
“You react like a fan when you hear about transfers like Neymar’s. You think: ‘This is not okay!’
“It’s just like when you talk to friends. Everyone reacts the same and thinks that this development is inhuman.”
Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman believes David Moyes would be an ideal candidate to replace Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park, but has questioned whether he would be a good long-term option.
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Koeman was let go on Monday following a dismal start to the season, with the Toffees’ most recent result – a 5-2 hammering at home to Arsenal – seeing the Merseyside club drop into the Premier League’s relegation zone.
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And Osman, a cult hero at Goodison having represented the club from 2000 to 2016, feels his former manager Moyes could be a great candidate to get his old club back on track, but isn’t sure whether the Scot is a good long-term option.
“I think Moyes would be able to do a good job immediately – he knows the club inside and out,” Osman told Sky Sports.
“Whether he would be a long-term candidate, I don’t know what the chairman is looking at. Is he looking at immediate results or someone who has a real pedigree of winning trophies?
“Or are they looking at someone like David Unsworth from the academy, who really knows the club and can bring the young lads through and inspire an Everton core?
“It’s really interesting to see what [club owners] Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright are thinking right now.”
With Everton having spent a reported £142 million in the summer transfer window the Toffees had been tipped to push for a Champions League spot, but failure to pick up a proven, in-form striker to replace Romelu Lukaku has seen the club struggle in front of goal.
Regardless, the influx of new talent on Merseyside has laid the foundations of a strong squad, and Osman believes the summer business, if a little flawed, will make the club an attractive prospect for potential new managers.
“There’s a reason why things haven’t quite gone well but Everton will be a really good club for someone to take over,” the 36-year-old said.
“They have some fantastic players, a real set-up behind them and good money invested in the club.
“Okay, you might need a transfer window to get in a few bodies that a new manager would like, but Everton are a really desirable club that people will be after.”
Juventus are interested in taking Stefan de Vrij on a free signing if the defender ignores a contract offer from Lazio, Goal understands.
The centre-back’s deal expires at the end of the season, but is in talks over a renewal with Simone Inzaghi’s side.
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The capital club are confident of extending De Vrij’s deal until June 2020 and the 25-year-old said last week he is happy where he is.
“I’m very happy to be here, we are talking to the club now and I hope to find an agreement,” he told reporters.
“You never know what will happen, but my intention is to grow, improve and make the best decision for my career.”
The Dutchman has also been linked with Liverpool in recent transfer windows, but Serie A champions Juve see him as a good option to bolster the centre of their defence.
However, Massimiliano Allegri’s side are only interested in signing him for free.
De Vrij has been a key player for Lazio, who currently sit third in Serie A after nine games, level on points with Juve and three behind leaders Napoli.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit out at the “wrong news” reports which suggest Mesut Ozil has told team-mates of his intention to join Manchester United.
Germany playmaker Ozil played a starring role in the Gunners’ 5-2 thumping of Everton on Sunday, putting the visitors ahead with his first goal of the campaign.
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— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) October 22, 2017
Rumours earlier surfaced of the 29-year-old’s apparent desire to leave for Old Trafford in January with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.
Wenger, who previously conceded all options were on the table, moved to rubbish talk of an impending exit to United for Ozil.
“We live in an environment where we have to deal with wrong news,” the Frenchman said at his post-match press conference.
“The players and myself always only have one response, [which] is what is happening on the football pitch.
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“When you see Mesut focused like he was today, and enjoying his game like he was today, it is difficult to believe these kind of rumours.”
AC Milan chief executive Marco Fassone has acknowledged the Serie A giants would have to sell star players if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Vincenzo Montella’s side sit 10th following a difficult start to the season, with a 3-2 defeat in a dramatic derby against Inter last time out marking their fourth league defeat of the campaign.
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Milan – who take on Genoa on Sunday – spent big in the off-season, with Ricardo Rodriguez, Andre Silva and Leonardo Bonucci among their high-profile additions.
However, Fassone has hinted some key players may have to be sold to balance the books should they fail to finish in the Champions League places, though he assures it would not be the end of the club’s long-term project.
“It is a plan and an obligation [to qualify],” Fassone told La Stampa.
“The Champions League is fundamental to our project. To miss it, however, does not block the plans.
“We will delay a year and find the system to balance the failure to enter the Champions League with the sale of one or two top players.”
Milan’s disappointing start has led to the pressure mounting on Montella, and Fassone did little to ease the scrutiny on the former Sampdoria boss.
“We’re all under pressure,” he added.
“It is needless to think about it though. Here we have to work all in the same direction to find a way out of this.
“The spark is missing. But I’m convinced we will do it.”