Just yesterday we reported the reports that other reporters were reporting that Spurs had made a £17 million move for Roberto Soldado. Today we investigate the investigations the Metro has investigated to bring you news that Valencia want more money than that. Where will it end?
Tired of all these second-hand reports, Cartilage Free Captain decided to send in human fly-on-the-wall
Awkward Edward F. to lurk uncomfortably nearby while Daniel Levy sat down to negotiations with Valencia president Amadeo Salvo.
Salvo: Buenas dias, Señor Levy. What can I do for you?
Levy: I have come here to buy Roberto Soldado. We're going to pay you £17 million, but to make it sound like more money, let's call it €20 million. You're welcome.
Salvo: €20 million? Señor, please excuse me, but that is loco. Roberto has a €30m release clause in his contract, we have no reason to sell him for less than that.
Levy: I see. Well what if I were to raise my offer to, say, €20m?
Salvo: But...that's the same number you offered before. I already told you, we won't take less than €30m. Maybe if you came up to €28 or 29m, we'd have something to talk about.
Levy: Ok, I think we can do business here. Maybe I can do something to sweeten the pot.
[Daniel Levy carefully writes a number down on a napkin, folds it in half, passes it slowly across the table]
Salvo: [reaches for the napkin] Ah Señor Levy, I knew you were a reasonable man.
[unfolds the napkin and reads it]
Wait, what? Is this some kind of a joke? This still says €20m on it! I have told you, we cannot do business at such a price. Our futbol club is in great financial difficulty, and we could not possibly sell our prized player for any less than €25m.
Levy: You're right, I apologize. I realize the difficulty you must be in. I think, if I really stretch the budget, we can make something work. How about....€20m?
Salvo: You did it again! You said €20m again! Señor Levy, you cannot keep saying the same number! That is not how this works! Haven't you done this before? You're supposed to say a number, then I say a higher number, then you raise your number a little bit, and then I lower my number a little bit, and eventually we meet somewhere in the middle.
Levy: I'm sorry, there must be something getting lost in translation. I promise I'm negotiating properly. I'm an excellent negotiator. Maybe sign language will help?
[Levy holds up two fingers with one hand]
Salvo: Ok, si, yes, this is much better. Twenty....?
[Levy makes a circle with the fingers on the other hand]
Salvo: That thing you did with your other hand, was that a five?
[Levy shakes his head]
Salvo: It was a zero wasn't it? Oh man! You offered me €20m again! Why do you keep doing this? Look, €22m, that is my final offer, that's as low as I can possibly go.
Levy: Perfect! I accept. €20m it is.
Salvo: No..what?...that's not what I...oh, whatever. Fine. €20m. I hate you Señor Levy.
Edward F: Hey, can you guys take a picture with me?
* * * *
The reality is, Soldado has a €30m release clause in his contract, and Valencia don't want to sell their most valuable asset unless they can squeeze every penny out of him. Valencia are in terrible financial shape, with control of the club having passed to the local government after the club defaulted on its bank loans, and need to sell some players to make payments.
They've put some guys like Ever Banega and Adil Rami on the market to try and make up the difference, but they'll sell Soldado if they need to. Ultimately, their finances will dictate how this transfer goes and if they're desperate, they'll cave eventually.