Alan Biggs' Sheffield Wednesday Column: Is £7m too much to ask for signature of Wednesday's Jordan Rhodes?
Footballers are only worth what someone is prepared to pay for them. So the question is not how much Sheffield Wednesday would want for, say, Jordan Rhodes but how much another club would be prepared to offer.
If that other club is Norwich City, where Rhodes spent last season on loan, then we know from that club’s own much publicised comments that £7m would be far too big a stretch.Assuming that this “outrageous” figure is actually what the Owls quoted (which we don’t know for sure), is anyone else prepared to meet it?If they are then it’s good marketing by Wednesday quote high. If not then it’s an unrealistic and prohibitive figure.I fear the latter. It is nearly two-and-half years since Rhodes became Hillsborough’s record buy at around £8m. Obviously Wednesday would want their money back but the harsh truth is that it is more than three years since the former Huddersfield and Blackburn striker was last at his prolific best.So it’s no surprise that, having already shelled out some £1.5m comprising a loan fee and promotion payment, Norwich would not pursue such a money-back package.So what is a reasonable expectation? I’d pitch it at around £3.5m-£4m. Not all signings work out and there are some where clubs have to cut their losses.I reckon a few might be tempted at the lower figure based on Rhodes’ superlative scoring statistics; also that he has an exemplary attitude and has yet to turn 30.Lower than £3.5m and arguably Wednesday would be better off keeping him – in the logical belief that he can respond to an admiring manager in Steve Bruce, one prepared to play to his strengths.Not everyone would agree. Some feel the Owls should simply get what they can.It’s a view I fully understand as someone who’s repeatedly urged the club not to over-price and stockpile players. Certainly this has been at the root of the financial fair play problems and it’s vital to change tack.And I don’t think any player should be off limits where offers are attractive. Rhodes included.But I’d meet the club roughly halfway on this one. It’s a good test case of a necessary change in policy. And crucially I think Bruce should lead on making the valuations, if he isn’t already – because he is the expert. If £7m really has been quoted then, unless it’s just an opening gambit, the signs are not hopeful. On the other hand, you don’t just give away a player who can potentially be a promotion winner.So I guess we’ll have to see where the summer takes us on this one. Right now, there is precious little sign of outgoing business. The anticipated stadium manoeuvre may change things, of course, and hopefully for the better in terms of flexibility. But as things stand Bruce has a tricky balancing act to perform regarding the signings he’d like to make.And you’d hope that to do that he’s in a position to grease the wheels on outgoing as well as incoming business.