Aaron Wan-Bissaka is reportedly on the brink of a £55million move to Manchester United and Danny Mills believe the fee is a big gamble from the Manchester club.
The highly-rated Crystal Palace and England U21 right back was the subject of two rejected bids of £40m and £50m respectively before widespread reports last week that Palace had accepted a third offer.
Former England and Man City defender Mills believes that despite the risks in such high value transfers, the purchase will be an ‘investment in potential’.
“Manchester United will be looking at him and thinking he’s a promising young player who we expect to get better over the next three, four or five seasons," Mills told Love Sport Drive (weekdays 3.30pm-7pm).
"If you spend £50million on a player now, [you want them to be worth] £70/80million in a few years’ time.
"They’re buying potential and that’s always very difficult. Jose Mourinho, love him or hate him, he bought ready-made products that were proven.
"At whatever level that was, he knew what he was going to get because they’d been there, seen it, done it at other football clubs.
"When you’re buying potential, of course things can go wrong – you try and do as much due diligence as you can, you watch as many of his games as possible, find out about his character, what he’s like, all these type of things.
"But of course, if it’s a £5million gamble, it’s next to nothing in football these days – but £50/60million, that goes wrong as they’ve seen with Alexis Sanchez through ludicrous wages, it does become a gamble.
"But this is the stage that Manchester United have got themselves into – having to pay over the odds for young players because they’re in a desperate situation."
If Manchester United sign Wan-Bissaka, it will indicate a new transfer strategy being implemented at the club, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bolstering his squad with more youthful talent following the signing of highly-rated Welsh winger Daniel James from Swansea.
Wan-Bissaka is currently away with England’s Under 21 side at the European Championships in Italy.
After his 95th-minute own goal gifted victory to France in England’s group opener, manager Aidy Boothroyd left the right back out of his starting XI for the clash with Romania, sparking speculation the Crystal Palace man had become unsettled with transfer speculation back home.
Boothroyd even admitted that the player's 'head had been turned' and Mills, no stranger to media speculation himself, had a similar experience ahead of the 2002 World Cup.
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Ex-Crystal Palace striker @neilshipperley thinks that #CPFC should accept bids of £50 million for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
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"David O’Leary wrote a two-page spread absolutely ripping me to pieces," Mills added.
"I’d had an indifferent disciplinary season to be honest, but the last thing I needed before a big game was being absolutely ripped apart.
"Undoubtedly, it can be a distraction. You’re talking big money moves, your whole career could be jeopardised whether it happens or not.
"It’s just one of those things that you have to learn to deal with – not just as a young footballer, but a young man it can be a huge distraction.”