Alan Biggs: Ross McCormack would almost guarantee goals but the price must be right for Sheffield Wednesday
Would you pay upwards of Â£10m for a player pushing 30 years of age if you were the owner of a Championship club? Would you pay upwards of Â£10m if you felt this player would take you to the Premier League?
Two different questions and you suspect, from Sheffield Wednesday fans, two different answers. No and yes, in that order.
Firstly you’ve got to have the money, of course.
I think we can assume Dejphon Chansiri most definitely has.
So far, and wisely too, he’s avoided splashing such lavish amounts on one player. Which doesn’t mean he wouldn’t do in future if the answer to the second question was yes.
In the case of Ross McCormack, I was stunned to receive an on-air tip-off from a Sheffield Live TV guest a week ago that the Owls had bid £11.5m.
Going back to the first question for a moment, that is a lot of money, arguably way too much, for a player to move from one Championship club to another.
Former Wednesday defender-turned FA scout Craig Armstrong, whose claim that such an offer had been made was widely backed in the media, could see my surprise.
But I’ve since got to thinking a lot more about question two on the basis that the Owls undeniably have been keen on this prolific striker for a while.
It follows that it’s pointless to maintain such an interest if you are not prepared to go some way towards the asking price. Bidding, say, £5m would have been futile.
But £11.5m (presumably in stages) for a player pegged (prohibitively high) at £15m? Now that could be a tempter if no-one goes higher.
Which I wouldn’t suggest Wednesday doing, but McCormack’s record is as near a guarantee of goals and potential promotion (for a good side) as you could find anywhere.
At Cardiff, Leeds and Fulham he has maintained a one-in-two goal ratio even while playing for struggling sides. He’s amassed 153, including spells in Scotland. His CV says he’ll score – anywhere.
So the talk isn’t that daft by any means. And the Hillsborough chairman is almost impossible to second guess.
Apart, that is, from the more straightforward signing of Steven Fletcher, which was flagged up as logical by this column.
Here you have another proven Championship marksman – and with goals in the Premier League too – signed on a four-year deal after his release by Sunderland. Ok, the contract is heavy at £30,000 plus a week but, again, you know what you’re getting. It’s also what the team needed - a higher-scoring alternative to Atdhe Nuhiu in the front-line striking role.
We must wait to see whether, with lots of good attacking options, the Fletcher capture negates the need for another striker.
Hard to call. And it may be McCormack has been priced out of range.
But it’s certain that, with other positions also targeted, there will be plenty more transfer intrigue up to next month’s kick-off. And knowing Chansiri (well, a little), some of it is likely to surprise.