The majority of world football is still reeling from Neymar’s move to Paris Saint Germain, with a £198 million price tag on his head.
Now, it seems that Arsene Wenger has become one of the first top managers to comment and blast the move, rightly claiming that the figures now in football make it unobtainable for the majority of people, and that the whole landscape of football has changed.
He also mentioned FFP, which seems to have been blown out of the water this summer once and for all on the back of the Neymar move.
The Express report Wenger said: “You cannot rationalise the numbers anymore. The inflation is accelerating. We crossed the £100m line last year and only one year later, we’re crossing the £200m line.
“When you think that Trevor Francis was the first £1m player (in 1979) – and that looked unreasonable, that shows you how big football has become.
“Ownerships have completely changed the whole landscape of football in the last 15 years. Once a country owns a club, everything is possible. It becomes very difficult to respect Financial Fair Play.
“This will have consequences. Clubs, when Barcelona will want to buy a player, will say, ‘My friends, you have £250m, so what cost £15m today will cost £100m for them.
“We still live with rationality. We are not the only ones – 99 per cent of clubs do that. We cannot compete at that level.
“You don’t look at the numbers in their absolute value anymore. Football has been for a long time out of normal society. The numbers are like the bastketball in the NBA in the USA. It’s not comparable to normal life anymore. It was already out of context of society. You cannot calculate what it brings in anymore, it’s just a number.
“Today the price of a player depends on the financial potential of the buyer.”
Contrary to reports that the player is unhappy at the club, since returning to training, he has looked happy and engaged, and seems to have accepted the fact he may have to see out his contract at the club and then leave come this time next year.
Should that happen, it would be a boost for the Gunners, with them needing to get back into the top four in what is a very tight Premier League top six, and with Everton and West Ham also spending well, Arsenal will need all the top players they can get.