Since bursting onto the scene towards the back-end of the 2017-18 season, Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s stock has been on almost continuous upward trend and now, with reports linking the full-back with a summer move to Manchester United, Reds legend Gary Neville has had his say.
Young, tipped for a bright future within the England set-up and with arguably the best tackling statistics across the European game, Aaron looks nailed on to be a superstar for years to come and whilst Neville is extremely keen for United to land him, he’s aware that a signing like him will not come cheap.
Thanks to Palace’s continued presence in the hugely lucrative Premier League, not to mention the long-term contract they’ve got Wan-Bissaka tied down to, they are under no immediate pressure to sell; allowing them to dictate the asking price and potentially put clubs of United’s size off from taking the plunge.
There has been on ongoing debate as to whether or not the likes of Zaha and Wan-Bissaka can justify their respective high price-tags in recent weeks but in essence, the requested sums are just a hands-off warning from Palace, who realise that, if they are to have any genuine hope of breaking into the top half, they’ll be better off with the pair than without.
Refreshingly, Neville hasn’t taken the easy option of expecting “smaller” clubs to bend over backwards to accommodate United’s wishes, instead offering a degree of clarity over the decision making process taking place behind the scenes in SE25. Years ago, clubs of Palace’s stature would have little option but to accept a hefty bid when it came in for their star player(s) but now, television money has afforded them a sense of power over their own destiny, should they prefer to stick rather than twist.
Will Manchester United return with a realistic bid for Wan-Bissaka later in the window? I’m unconvinced but at least the message that Steve Parish won’t be bullied is beginning to filter through to the general footballing public.