Watford boss Marco Silva has slammed the ‘crazy’ transfer market as he struggles to find any value for money.
The Hornets’ manager has been stunned by the prices demanded for players in Europe this summer.
“I think crazy is the right word,” said the 40-year-old Portuguese, using the same adjective as his compatriot Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. “When managers at the big clubs say that, imagine what I can say because it is really difficult for us.
“We have our targets in mind and you look for them because you feel they are good solutions for us. It isn’t easy to achieve these targets. I hope in the next few days they start to come but the market is crazy at this moment.”
Silva knows his club are richer by around £160million because of their Premier League status.
But that is a double-edged sword.
The elite like Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham have also had their coffers boosted by the same cash injection. And on the continent, the clubs are aware of the riches now available to every club in the Premier League. The outcome is inevitable.
“In the normal European market, maybe the value of the player is £5m – if you come from the Premier League, it is double,” said Silva. “The minimum is double. Of course it is a big problem.
“This is football. This year, the market is completely crazy – and we haven’t even started the month of August!”
And Silva conceded it was easier to secure players while in charge of Olympiacos in Greece.
“The clubs know that if it is for the Premier League, they ask more. If you go at this moment to ask the clubs in Portugal, Spain, Italy or whatever: ‘What club do you want to sell your players to?’ – everybody says China or the Premier League.
“It is because of the market at this moment. This is football and you need to be ready for everything.”
If the European marketplace is a tough bartering environment, then the English one is even more exacting for the negotiators.
“It is really difficult to buy players inside the Premier League between clubs,” said Silva. “It is really difficult. The players with quality are really difficult to get. Normally the clubs have good financial situations and it is not easy.”
Silva failed to keep Hull in the top flight when he took over in January.
They were rock bottom when he took over and despite the praise he received for the style he brought to Humberside, it was points that were needed, not plaudits. He improved them but only by two places and they were relegated.
But Silva was addicted to English football and opted to make his next career move in this country.
And he has been the beneficiary of advice from Mourinho.
“Jose is a fantastic guy, he is a fantastic coach and what he did and what he continues to do is amazing for him and Portuguese coaches. I have my targets and I need to prove day by day my competence as a coach.
“Myself and Jose are friends. We have a very good relationship and he is one person who knows very, very well the Premier League,” said Silva.
“Before I came to Hull we talked. Even when I needed to take the decision to join Watford, he was one of the people I talked to about my move.
“He is a fantastic person and I have a very good relationship with him.”
That link and speed-dial helpline will doubtless come in handy this season at a club which is something of a Hornets nest for recent managers. Silva is the eighth in five years.
No lock on the door at the manager’s office at Vicarage Road it would appear. It is more like a revolving door.