Manchester United continue to be linked with a move for Juventus’ Paul Pogba, with The Sun suggesting they are willing to pay £100m for his signature.
Such a move would decimate the current world transfer record, which currently stands at the £85m Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale in 2013/14.
Setting a new high-water mark would certainly amount to a Richter-scale-measurable statement of intent from the Red Devils, but, if history is to be believed, it also nigh-on guarantees they won’t win the 2016/17 Premier League.
Just one of the last ten players to be purchased for a world record transfer fee went on to win the league with their new employers the following season, Luis Figo, who moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid for £37m in summer 2000.
The Portuguese was the first of five consecutive bar-liftingly-costly moves by Los Blancos, but not one of the subsequent quartet were able to bring the club the La Liga crown.
Even breaking the record twice in one summer to bring in Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 only saw the Santiago Bernabeu side finish second.
Prior to the beginning of Real’s Galacticos era in 2000, Italian, Spanish and English teams took it in turn to cut history-making transfer cheques.
Newcastle signed Alan Shearer in 1996, Inter took Ronaldo from Barcelona in 1997, Real Betis bought Denilson in 1998, the Nerazzurri were at it again to snare Christian Vieri in 1999, before Lazio took Hernan Crespo in 2000.
Not one of that stellar list were able to finish better than first runner up, with Vieri’s Milanese finishing fourth and the Spanish side ending up 11th.
The fate of the last ten clubs to break the world transfer record the next season does at least bode well for United’s 2/5-rated chances of a top-four finish in 2016/17.
Denilson’s Betis were the sole team during that timeframe who failed to finish fourth or better the following season.