Matt Grimes potential exit from Swansea to Watford could have moved a stage closer yesterday with the news that Everton and Watford had agreed a deal of up to £25m for midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure.
The Frenchman will now have a medical at Goodison Park ahead of a move that has been 12 months in the making – Watford refusing to sell last summer but after relegation from the Premier League they have given in to player demands but also the financial impact that relegation can bring.
That is something, of course, that we know plenty about and would lead to us almost certainly selling Grimes as we attempt to balance the books thanks to reduced income through both parachute payments reducing and closed door football now for more than six months.
It was reported yesterday that the Swans would be looking for a fee in the region of £10m for a player bought to the club by Garry Monk for a fraction of that and with Watford taking a good fee for Doucoure it is a figure that the Swans could hold out for.
What kind of minimum fee should we be looking for for Matt Grimes?
- £10m+ (54%, 82 Votes)
- £7.5m - £10m (30%, 46 Votes)
- £5m - £7.5m (13%, 20 Votes)
- < £5m (3%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 153
How strong we stand firm will remain to be seen particularly following the departure of Trevor Birch and Julian Winter not yet having taken up his new post. That will leave the majority of negotiations in the hands of our distant owners who have a track record of elongated negotiations damaging transfer window activity.
Grimes was the midfielder that Steve Cooper built his team around last year with the captain playing in every minute of our league campaign including both legs of the play off semi-final against Brentford.
At the reported fee of £10m it would represent good business in my view for the Swans to sell with some of that money being used to balance the books but it would be essential to invest – at least part – of that back into the team to ensure that we are not weaker for his departure.
We know that creates a challenge in itself at the club but whilst selling in itself is not the biggest problem, not replacing would be one huge mistake despite the additions already seen at the Liberty this summer.
The big question though is whether – in a current transfer market – £10m is a realistic fee to be expected. Whilst Everton maybe happy to pay large for their man, money in the Championship is on a different scale and Watford will know that the longer closed door matches go on, the smaller their budget gets. They will quite likely be looking to pay a significant smaller amount for Grimes and that will test the resolve of our owners to see how strong they hold firm.
What does seem to become increasingly likely though is that we are to be looking for a new captain very soon and that was something that I don’t think Steve Cooper was banking on this close to the new season starting.