The Leeds United decision to pull the plug on signing PSV Eindhoven sensation Noni Madueke this summer gives a clear hint as to how Marcelo Bielsa will spend his summer transfer budget.
Football Insider revealed on Thursday (8th April) how United have been priced out of a move for the 19-year-old by the Dutch club’s price tag of between £20-25million.
That is a telling indicator of how Leeds plan to operate in the upcoming window.
A huge fee – and in a market crippled by clubs in all the big leagues posting big losses, £20m-plus comes into that category – will only be spent by United on a player proven in an elite European league.
Leeds shelled out £96m on new signings last summer following their Premier League return but the only £20m+ spend was on Spain international Rodrigo.
He also had a proven track record in La Liga and was at a club, Valencia, where the expectations are set high.
Even Raphinha, who Leeds remarkably prised away for less than £20m, had already demonstrated his sparkling talent during a season in Ligue 1 for Rennes after making his name in Portgual.
The French, Spanish, German and Italian leagues are considered to be a suitable barometer for potentially being able to deliver in the Premier League.
The Dutch and Portugese leagues, among others, are in the tier below.
Former Tottenham youth Madueke is clearly an electrifying young talent.
He has made 28 PSV appearances this term, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists from various attacking positions.
Last week, he won his first England Under-21 cap.
Leeds posted a £62.4m loss in their recent financial results released via Companies House last weekend.
But the San Francisco 49ers pumped in £50m as part of a share purchase in January and Leeds are guaranteed Premier League football next season and another massive broadcasting windfall in the summer.
There will be cash to spend and Football Insider pundit and Leeds expert Noel Whelan expects another tranche of expensive arrivals.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “I’ve heard about this big investment from the 49ers. That’s not gone on the field, it’s gone to balance the books and cover expenses.
“So the losses don’t worry me. Everyone’s posting big losses. Some are going to be double ours, quite frankly.
“I don’t think it will have much impact on transfer plans in the summer.
“The board realise they are going to have to spend £80-100m each season if they are going to be successful, if they are going to break into that top six. That’s the plan.”