Why Man City won’t offload Benjamin Mendy despite injury woes and Angelino transfer news
How do you solve a problem like Benjamin Mendy?
The Frenchman blew into Manchester City in 2017 off the back of a title-winning season with Monaco, and looked set to be Man City’s first-choice left back for a decade after showing great promise early on in City’s Centurion season.
But, almost two years on from his signing, a catalogue of injuries has seemingly relegated Mendy to second in the pecking order behind the promising young Ukrainian Aleks Zinchenko ; and with additional competition from the evergreen Fabian Delph.
Despite Pep Guardiola giving Mendy a public vote of confidence, City’s latest link with Angelino suggests that the Spaniard is not prepared to gamble on Mendy being fit for the start of the new season.
PSV manager Mark van Bommel recently admitted that the young left-back is set to leave the club as his old side prepare to trigger Angelino’s buy-back clause.
But Man City do have a headache when it comes to choosing whether to pursue suitors for their World Cup-winning full back.
When Mendy signed for Man City for a reported £52m back in 2017, his five-year contract became a £52m intangible asset on the club’s balance sheet.
Through a process called amortisation – the writing off of a player’s value over the length of a contract – Mendy’s value has been gradually chipped away.
Amortisation works on a straight-line basis, so Mendy’s £52m contract is being written off in equal instalments over his five-year deal at a rate of approximately £10m per year.
This means going into the new season he has a value on Man City’s books of around £31m.
Amortisation is also non-cash, it’s important to point out; given that City have a healthy cash pile, his actual cash transfer fee could have been paid off in any number of different ways.
These figures are rough estimates – clubs almost never break down exact transfer and agent fees for players.
But working with that £31m figure, Man City would have to receive at least this much from a buying club to avoid declaring on his sale.
When a player is sold, his unamortised value is written off and the remaining fee is declared as a profit.
Any contingency payments are declared on the club’s profit and loss statement as and when they occur in the future.
Going the other way, if the departing offer is less than his unamortised value, Man City would have to declare the loss below his book value.
Last season, Man City did amazing business to declare profits on player sales; and in the last few years the club has relied on this strategy to turn a profit.
The high value moves of players compared to their low values on the club’s books – Pablo Maffeo, Angus Gunn, Joe Hart, Jason Denayer, Brahim iaz and Rabbi Matondo, to name just a few – should show a healthy profit in the club’s 2018/19 accounts when they are released later this year.
Man City’s latest accounts up to last summer show a £39.1m profit on player sales – thanks again to selling players with low book values for a substantial profit: Kelechi Iheanacho, in particular, as well as Aaron Mooy.
This allowed the club to turn a £22m operating loss into a £17m profit before interest and tax.
Mendy isn’t like Inhenacho and Mooy, however; City would need at least a £35m bid to wring out even the smallest of profits on his sale.
Given that very few clubs appear to be sniffing around Mendy, coupled the club’s obvious desire not to sell him at a value lower than his book value, it seems very likely he will still be a Man City player when the Premier League kicks off again in a little over 50 days’ time.