Are the way newspapers work simply predictable? Or do we have a crystal ball?
Let's set the scene. Manchester United have been linked with Stoke's Asmir Begovic for a number of months, and when David de Gea had a shaky moment against Tottenham the talk went into overdrive, couple with Tony Pulis signing Jack Butland in January who will arrive to replace the Bosnian.
A number of articles were published by the national papers in late January and early February, with the Mirror announcing' Manchester United would bid £9 million for the player.
This was a figure which had risen steeply from the £4 million Chelsea had rejected for him back in 2010, six months after he signed from Portsmouth for only slightly less.
Begovic's performances have been solid, and he has not let himself down over the past month with the spotlight upon him.
With the transfer talk hotting up at the beginning of last month, we ran an article entitled, How much is Manchester United target Asmir Begovic worth?
In it we discussing the Mirror's article, let us refer you to a part of out analysis:
"£9 million. Is that the right price?
"Expect it to fluctuate several times between now and the summer. Don't be surprised if in a month or so's time you read 'Manchester United linked with £15 million Begovic.'"
Fast forward to the present.
Last night The Telegraph stepped forward to prove us bang on, as they published an article entitled 'Manchester United poised to swoop for Stoke City's £15m-rated goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.'
Now Begovic is an excellent goalkeeper, but please inform us what he has done over the past month to merit his price tag jumping by £6 million?
Of course the figures quoted are estimates from two differing sources, based on how they perceive Stoke to value him. But they are wildly different.
Stoke may hold negotiating power in that they own the player, but there are reasons why they do not.
(1) David de Gea has been in fine form for United, negating any desperate need for the Red Devils to sign a new goalkeeper.
(2) Begovic has seemingly had his heart set on a move and will not take kindly to being priced out of it.
(3) Stoke have already indicated they are ready to sell, by virtue of securing a replacement.
We can't see United paying £15 million for the goalkeeper, now that may mean they lose out on him, but given De Gea's form, we figure that is a risk they will be willing to take.
So what do you think? Would United pay that sort of money for Begovic? And do we in fact have a crystal ball?
image: © ronnie macdonald