Quartet eyed by Man Utd included in European XI whose value has soared this season

Ian Watson
Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka, Napoli defender Kim Min-jae, Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa.

Four Manchester United targets feature alongside three Premier League stars in this European XI whose value has gone through the roof this season…

In a 4-2-3-1 formation, here is the European XI whose value has increased most this season according to Transfermarkt.


Goalkeeper: Diogo Costa (Porto)
The Portugal keeper’s value has increased by €20million on the back of a season in which he has impressed in Porto’s goal while becoming No.1 for his country at the World Cup. Costa also signed a new deal at Porto, which is perhaps one of the factors in Manchester United choosing to make do with David De Gea rather than go and sign a goalkeeper more suited to Erik ten Hag’s needs. Interestingly, behind Costa is Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez, whose value has doubled to €32million despite him losing his place to Jason Steele and deciding to do his own thing rather than schlep to Newcastle just to sit on the bench.


Right-back: Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen)
Like Costa, Frimpong has spent most of the season being linked with United amid a stellar campaign in Bayer Leverkusen’s defence. The full-back was selected by Louis van Gaal for the Netherlands’ World Cup squad but having not made an appearance in Qatar, he has been left out of the subsequent squads by Ronald Koeman. Frimpong’s value has soared – by €15million to €35million – only as much as United’s current right-back Diogo Dalot.


Centre-back: Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig)
The centre-back was one of the most-wanted defenders in January immediately after a superb World Cup campaign with Croatia. Transfermarkt have his valued at €75million – up from €35million at the start of the season – but if Chelsea or Liverpool want to take the 21-year-old, they will probably have to give Leipzig a fee closer to €100million.


Centre-back: Kim Min-jae (Napoli)
The South Korea centre-back only joined Napoli last summer, when he was valued at €14million, just less than the €18million the Italian club gave Fenerbahce. After winning the Scudetto, Min-jae’s worth has flown up to €50million, which is roughly what Manchester United might pay if they are in a position to take advantage of a two-week window in July to sign the 26-year-old.


Left-back: Alejandro Balde (Barcelona)
Balde’s value has rocketed by 650 per cent to €30million since the start of the season when he wasn’t expected to play a major role in Xavi’s plans. But the 19-year-old has locked down the left-back position at the Nou Camp and won a La Liga title in his breakout campaign. A new deal until 2027 has been agreed between Barca and Balde, which just needs rubber stamping by La Liga while the Catalans grab every lever in sight.


Central midfield: Moises Caicedo (Brighton)
There were hints at the end of last season, when he finally got a run in the Brighton team, that Caicedo was special. In the summer he was valued at €6million – now that figure is up to €55million. And still it doesn’t accurately reflect Brighton’s valuation of the Ecuadorian, or the figure one of the the big boys, possibly Arsenal, will pay when he gets his move this summer.


Central midfield: Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea)
Fernandez’s rise has been even faster than Caicedo’s. A year ago, he was on the move from River Plate to Benfica, when his worth was calculated to be in the region of €15million. Now he’s said to be worth €85million, which is still considerably less than the British record £106.5million that Todd Boehly paid in January. River Plate trousered around £30million of that figure, but still Benfica played a blinder on a player they employed for barely six months.

Read more: What Frank Lampard told his players at half-time: Ten pearls of wisdom for Chelsea and Everton


Attacking midfielder: Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich) 
The Bayern Munich star’s value has risen by €45million to €110million – a higher increase by €5million than Jude Bellingham but still a lower overall valuation than the €120million-rated England midfielder. Musiala was one of the few positives to emerge from Germany’s disastrous World Cup campaign either side of a fine season for Bayern, for whom the 20-year-old has scored 11 goals and created 13 more this season.


Right-wing: Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
The Arsenal starboy’s valuation has risen parallel with Musiala’s, with Transfermarkt putting a €110million valuation on his head. Like Musiala, Saka has also had a hand in 24 goals, with the England attacker scoring 13 and laying on 11.

Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia


Left-wing: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli) 
Kvaradona and Fernandez are the players whose valuation have increased by the biggest amount in the Europe this season. Last summer, when he joined Napoli from Dinamo Tiblisi, he was worth €15million, which is €5million more than the Serie A side paid. A year on, if they were to sell – which they almost certainly won’t – Napoli could demand around 10 times that figure for the Georgian Messi, even if Transfermarkt value him at €85million.


Centre-forward: Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt)
The World Cup brought Kolo Muani to a wider audience after he helped take France to the final. Had he scored in the last minute of added time and not smashed it straight at the keeper, then he might be worth more and Emi Martinez would be a tattoo short of his current total. Kolo Muani is currently valued at €65million – up by €49million – but the likes of Manchester United would have to pay a lot more to get him away from Frankfurt.