Quincy Promes remains the centre of attention at Spartak Moscow, as Spartak Moscow’s owner, Leonid Fedun, has now set a price tag of €40 to €50 million for the Dutch striker. Promes has been in fantastic form this year as he leads the Russian Football Premier League with ten goals scored so far.
There is also negative news: details of Promes’ transfer from Twente Enschede to Spartak Moscow have been revealed by the football transfer whistle blower Football Leaks and highlight the involvement of the football investment company Doyen Sports (more on the story here).
The complicity of Doyen Sports in Promes’ move to Spartak Moscow has led to suggestions that Promes’ contract could be a so called third-party ownership (TPO) deal. This means that any club interested in the services of the Dutchman would have to buy out both Spartak and, potentially, the investment company—past transfers from the post-Soviet space to Western Europe highlight the complications that accompany such deals.
Despite this disadvantage, Promes has remained a hot property in Western Europe. The Russian-Armenian journalist Nobel Arustamyan already reported in December that both Bayern Munich and Juventus Turin have shown interest in Promes, but this interest is still in the early stages, as Fedun would not be willing to sell until next summer.
In most major leagues, the transfer window remains open until February 1, and past experience has shown that English clubs, especially, like to wait until the last moment to make their final move. Manchester United, for example, purchased AS Monaco’s 20-year-old French striker, Anthony Martial, on September 1, 2015 in a last minute transfer for €50 million—subject to conditions, the transfer costs could rise to €80 million (his transfer details can be found here).
Sport-Express, for example, reported that Everton scouts were in attendance at Spartak Moscow’s match against Zenit Saint Petersburg, but that they were not impressed when they heard about the large price tag of the player.
In fact, Fedun is hoping that the high price tag will deter clubs from purchasing the striker in the winter, as he hopes that Spartak could return to the UEFA Champions League next season. Spartak are currently fourth in the table, and only four points behind second place Rostov—the second place team qualifies for the Champions League qualification.
Spartak, therefore, wants to retain their best player in order to facilitate a successful push in the second half of the season. Indeed, Spartak would prefer to strengthen the squad, for Spartak continue in their negotiations with Kuban Krasnodar over the rights of the Paraguayan striker Lorenzo Melgarejo.
Sport-Express believes that most German and English clubs value Promes at around €20 million, and that, at the moment, no club is interested in paying €50 million. The major reason for the lower evaluation of Promes is the fact that the player is not competing in the Champions League. Here, the example of Shakhtar Donetsk is especially revealing, as the Ukrainian club, which competes in the Champions League every season, has built an entire strategy around selling its players for the highest possible transfer fees.
Promes could certainly be in the same category as Douglas Costa, who was sold by Shakhtar to Bayern Munich last summer for €30 million, or Alex Teixeira, who has been linked with a potential €50 million move to Liverpool, but his lack of Champions League football has meant that scouts from Western Europe have their doubts whether the Dutchman can meet the expectations that come with a high cost transfer.
In the unlikely event that Promes does leave Spartak for the above-mentioned sum, the Dutchman would become the most expensive departure, to date, from the RFPL to a club abroad—the current record is held by the Brazilian Willian, who was sold by Anzhi Makhachkala for €35.5 million. One thing is certain, when Promes does leave Spartak it will be one of the biggest transfers in the history of Russian football.