Manchester United's £36 million signing of uncapped French forward Anthony Martial, on transfer deadline day, took many people by surprise.
The Red Devils' decision to sign an unproven forward for a fee that could rise to £56.7m has an air of desperation surrounding it, and it appears the Old Trafford club were prepared to do anything it took to make the deal happen.
According to AS Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev, Man United were so desperate to complete a deal for the forward they almost trebled their bid in the space of a week.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
According to Vasilyev, the principality club had no intention to sell Martial, but Ed Woodward would not take no for an answer.
As per the Sun, he said: “It’s true that the price for Martial is £57.6m but take into account this sum includes bonuses which are very realistic. I couldn’t disclose the fixed sum. Initially Martial was not for sale, it was absolutely not planned.
“Since last week United started to make offers which we declined several times — £21.6m, £28.8m, £36m, even £50.4m with bonuses. On Sunday the player got such an offer that he couldn’t have declined.
“He asked us to find a solution and on Monday morning Manchester United made an offer to Monaco which the club couldn’t refuse. It’s absolutely unique. It’s the price of Luis Suarez or Neymar — the best players in the world.
IS POTENTIAL WORTH IT?
There is no doubting Martial's potential. To have made 52 appearances in Ligue 1 and scoring 11 goals by the age of 19 is no mean feat.
Having just been called into the French national squad he is definitely a player on the up, but there are severe doubts that it was the right decision to fork out so much money for the player.
He has the ability to occupy a number of positions for the Red Devils, whether that be upfront or on the wing and could be just the player Louis van Gaal was looking for.
His pace is frightening and he has fantastic ability to run with the ball. However the step up from Monaco to Manchester United should not be underestimated.
It is not the standard of play that is the issue, it is the expectation from the fans and playing in front of 75,000 fans that is the daunting prospect.
But at such a young age, time is on his side to forge a successful career at Old Trafford, but with a huge fee weighing on his shoulders the expectation could prove too much. Only time will tell.