Reds ponder £7m Hull bid for Campbell
Posted by nickogs20 on August 31, 2008
Hull City’s £7m bid for United striker Fraizer Campbell – confirmed today by Tigers’ chairman Paul Duffen – presents Sir Alex Ferguson with something of a dilemma ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline.
Duffen and his manager Phil Brown have made little secret all summer of their desire to take fan favourite Campbell back to the KC Stadium after his hugely successful loan spell last term. The 20 year-old scored 15 goals as Hull surprised everyone and won promotion to the Premier League, and he’s the man the Tigers’ management want to spearhead their bid to preserve top flight status against all the odds this season.
Another season-long loan move has been mooted but now seemingly dismissed by Hull, who have instead made what would be a club record £7m bid for the permanent signature of the England U21 international. From Duffen’s comments it would appear that there has certainly been no definite rebuttal from United, and that Fergie may be interested in doing business IF the spectacularly tedious Dimitar Berbatov transfer saga is resolved to his satisfaction (i.e. we sign him):
“The complexities of their situation are that it depends on them getting one in, that one might well be Bulgarian. As I said all the way through the summer we need to be respectful of that and there’s nothing I can do to force the situation. If they do bring someone in I want to be at the front of the queue and I will do whatever it takes to bring (Campbell) to the football club.”
Fraizer’s form at the KC last season has quite rightly earned him a place in the United first team squad for the new campaign and, with it being so long since a homegrown striker last came through the academy to establish himself in the senior ranks at Old Trafford, there would be a lot of disappointment amongst United fans were the youngster to be sold without ever really being given a chance. Looking at things practically though it would seem a tricky offer to refuse if the circumstances are right.
Obviously if Berbatov (or another forward) isn’t in the bag by Monday, it’s a definite ‘no deal’. The imminent sale of Louis Saha (assuming, perhaps unwisely, that he passes his Everton medical) leaves Sir Alex with just Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tévez as established, senior strikers, and Fraizer as the only real back-up until Manucho recovers from injury – even at the frankly staggering price of £7m, it would be negligent to accept Hull’s bid.
However, were a Berbatov or someone else of that ilk to be captured with some time to spare before the window closes in just under 48 hours time, Sir Alex will have a decision to make. Rooney, Tévez and, say, Berbatov would give the manager the strongest set of senior strikers he has had in a long time – certainly stronger than at any point during the last two title-winning campaigns. Throw in Manucho as well and Fraizer starts to look a little expendable, especially with such a good offer on the table.
A big factor in the deal may well be Danny Welbeck (and to a lesser extent Federico Macheda). If SAF considers Welbeck more of a prospect than Campbell long-term and not significantly inferior in the shorter-term (and many people would go along with that school of thought), he may decide that it is in the best interests of all parties to accept Hull’s offer. It’s unlikely such a lucrative offer will be forthcoming again in the future unless Campbell really establishes himself at United, so it perhaps essentially comes down to how likely Fergie considers Fraizer to do that.
My hunch? If Berbatov signs, Fraizer will be off to Hull (or at the very least the Tigers’ bid will be accepted and the player will be left with a decision to make). And – as much as I rate him and (naturally considering the subject matter of the blog) desperately want to see young players graduating from our academy through to our first team – that may well be the right decision for all concerned.