Manchester United will get greater value from a deal for Bruno Fernandes than they would a move for James Maddison, says Paul Parker, with Leicester’s star playmaker said to be valued at around £120 million ($156m).
That has become the going rate for match-winning talent, with those at the King Power Stadium aware that they can push asking prices up for prized assets tied to long-term contracts.
If United were to try and prise Maddison away from a Premier League rival, then they would need to dig deep in order to get an agreement over the line.
Such a move would place added pressure on 23-year-old shoulders as an England international playmaker would be expected to hit the ground running.
With that in mind, Parker has suggested that United would be best advised looking elsewhere.
The Red Devils are said to be closing in on the signing of Portugal international Fernandes from Sporting, with only £65m ($84m) reportedly required to secure his signature.
The 25-year-old should slot seamlessly into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, despite boasting no prior experience of life in England, and Parker feels he is the better option for now.
The former United defender told the WeAreTheBusbyBoys podcast of Fernandes: “I wouldn’t have any concerns over him playing in Portugal at his age.
“People say you can’t put the words £50m and bargain together, but when you’re talking about James Maddison costing near or over £120m, and the fact he will have to hit the ground running, you have to reconsider.
“You’re getting a player who is technically better than any other United player in that area, other than arguably [Juan] Mata.”
While Fernandes may soon be welcomed through the doors at Old Trafford, Ashley Young could be heading in the opposite direction.
The versatile 34-year-old is wanted by Serie A giants Inter and Parker believes a sale should be sanctioned if a long-serving performer has made it clear that he wants out.
The ex-England international added: “If he wants to move, if it’s for the money or the lifestyle, or if he wants a chance at winning a league title medal, then you’re going to have to just let him go.
“You don’t want a player moping around and becoming a sour apple.
“It’s human nature, you can’t blame him for it, if you feel someone is depriving you of something you want to do, you are unhappy. There’s nothing wrong with it. I think you have to let him go.”