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Man City beat Man Utd and Chelsea to sign 13-year-old talent in staggering £450,000 deal – John Cross


Huge transfer fees always send shockwaves through football.

Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho, Joao Felix and Antoine Griezmann all went through the £100m barrier.

But it is always difficult to put a context on the value of young players when they move between clubs… but one deal has really shaken things up in youth football.

League Two club Stevenage this week confirmed they have sold 13-year-old Leke Drake to Manchester City.

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The deal is estimated to be worth £450,000 which is an astonishing amount of money for a player Stevenage see as a highly promising centre back who has been playing in their under-13s team.

Stevenage youngster Leke Drake will be joining Man City's academy at the Etihad Campus
Stevenage youngster Leke Drake will be joining Man City’s academy at the Etihad Campus

It is a big deal for all parties as City have a world class academy, Stevenage have a very good youth system and would normally resist offers as they try to give players a chance in the first team by the age of 17.

That sort of money is far greater than clubs would think about paying for even the most special 15 or 16-year-old who are outside of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) system.

But City beat off big competition from Manchester United and Chelsea to sign Drake who is also already being tracked by agents and sportswear firms as a star of the future.

Drake has already starred in a pop video – the 2018 World Cup song Live It Up – alongside Arsenal and Brazil star Willian. He is definitely a player to watch in the future.

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Brentford have made a name for themselves with their brilliant business in the transfer market.

And their £10m deal to sign Ivan Toney from Peterborough last summer already looks a snip as his goals ultimately secured Brentford’s place in the Premier League.

But the figures behind the deal are even more remarkable… Peterborough originally paid Newcastle £650,000 for him in 2018, he was a goal machine for the Posh but while others dithered, Brentford did their homework and pounced.

Brentford paid £5m up front, they beat Fulham – who had just been promoted to the Premier League – to the deal because the Cottagers baulked at his £35,000-a-week wages.

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Now Brentford are up, they must pay another £1m bonus (which more than covers Posh’s own promotion bonuses) and if Brentford stay up they have to pay another £1m. If Toney scores 20 goals next season, they are due to pay another £1m.

That is shrewd business by Brentford as they have one of the most sought after strikers around – and Peterborough are also getting their money’s worth.

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Scott Arfield has just enjoyed a glorious season by helping Rangers win their 55th Scottish title.

Rangers midfielder Arfield, 32, has also made a name for himself thanks to his incredible generosity and has raised a staggering £30,000 in total since he began his fund raising efforts,

This time, Arfield has put a title-winning shirt with embroidered “Champions 55” to raise money for Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS).

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That has raised nearly £4,000 already and, incredibly, he has raised over £17,500 this season alone. His latest fund raising page is here:

WIN CHAMPIONS RANGERS SHIRT!

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Eric Cantona is starring in a multi-million pound advertising campaign for JD Sports entitled “Just A Game?” entitled at showing the power of sport.

Jack Grealish, Jamie Vardy, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson are also in the eye-catching advert which will be on TV and social media and give another glimpse of Cantona’s acting ambitions.

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Former Manchester United star Jordi Cruyff is going back to join Barcelona’s sporting strategy department.

Cruyff said: “I left the club 25 years ago and that’s a long time ago now. I feel like I’m coming home.”

Who will be the transfer of the summer? Let us know below who you’d like to see your club sign.





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