This Transfer Could Go To The Wire
The news was officially released by the club (FC Twente) this afternoon that Luuk de Jong has joined Borussia Monchengladbach for a club record fee of €15m. Whilst I am sad that the promising striker won’t be playing at SJP next season, the deal does start to give a sense of what barriers NUFC have to get through if they want to sign Douglas.
Firstly, FC Twente drive a hard bargain. Borussia came in with a bid of €10m and in the end paid 50% more with the striker also reportedly dropping the 20% of the deal that he was contractually entitled to receive.
Secondly, they are prepared to wait. FC Twente didn’t bow to player and agent pressure in the media over the summer and said they were prepared to hold the player to his contract, which still had over two years to run.
Thirdly, they are prepared to forgive indiscretions. In January 2012, De Jong’s agent claimed that PSV had bid ten million euros for the player and was disappointed that it had never been taken seriously. But De Jong’s position in the squad was strengthened with the departure of Marc Janko for FC Porto and he was the strongest part of a disappointing second half of the season.
The last point shouldn’t be a problem. FC Twente signed Andreas Bjelland in November 2011, Wisgerhof is staying and Rasmus Bengtsson provides additional specialist cover for the centre halve positions.
Douglas’s outburst in Nusport in June, then returning late from holiday to a club punishment, can’t be taken as a definite sign that he is leaving.
Ultimately, the biggest stumbling block will be the price that FC Twente are prepared to accept and NUFC to offer. The De Jong transfer saga and its happy ending for FC Twente is the latest to show that the Tukkers do have an exceptionally good nose for deals, so this may go right to the wire.
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