Newcastle have come out today and said that if Fulham want to buy forward Aleksandar Mitrović then they will have to meet their asking price of £20million.
Why wouldn’t they?
After all, since joining on loan at the end of the January transfer window, Mitrovic almost single handily fired the Cottagers to the Premier League with a whopping 12 goals in just 17 league appearances.
At £20 million that could prove a bargain as it is clear that Fulham manager Slaviša Jokanović managed to turn the Serbian into the player magpies boss Benitez wanted, but couldn’t quite manage.
After the financial windfall comes that comes with promotion to the Premier League, £20m is almost a drop in the ocean, and if the Fulham hierarchy have any sense, they will snap him up now before the World Cup gets into full flow.
Even though £20million would prove to be a nice £7million profit the club paid Anderlecht for the 23-year-old in 2015, it would still be relatively cheap by market standards and a huge risk considering Mitro will be in World Cup action for Serbia.
More importantly however, is that Mitrovic is bang on form.
A hattrick in his sides 5-1 thumping of Bolivia last time out has only gone on to significantly improve the Serbian’s stock and he is tipped by many to be a star of the tournament.
Not only that, Serbia have the potential to go deep in the tournament and in FIFA World Cup betting, are backed by many punters to reach the semi-finals.
There has been a similar sort of scenario to this before in a World Cup, in fact, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil saw one man unexpectedly steal the limelight and earn the move of his life.
Colombia’s James Rodriguez had a tournament to remember and even won the golden boot as well as being named in the World Cup all star XI despite his side losing to Brazil in the quarter-finals.
At the time, Rodriguez was a Monaco player but that soon changed, Real Madrid came knocking and paid a reported £63 million for James services largely because of his performances at the World Cup.
Okay, we are not quite putting Mitrovic in the same bracket as Rodriguez, but a strong performance on the World stage will add millions onto his value especially if he proves to be the linchpin that propels his talented national team beyond the group stages.
Serbia’s group consists of Brazil, Costa Rica and Switzerland and there is the sense that of the four teams, the Serbs are certainly the second favourite to get through.
Whether they do or not remains to be seen but even if they do not, Mitrovic has a golden chance to once again significantly raise his stock well beyond the £20 million Newcastle value him at.
The wise thing would be to hang onto him until after the World Cup and if Serbia fail to impress then offer him for £20 million, but even one goal will see his value rise and if the magpies have committed to selling at that price, they could end up with egg on their face.