Just how much might it cost Portsmouth to prise Steve Seddon away from Birmingham?
It was the sort of news needed amid the coronavirus doom and gloom.
When The New revealed Pompey were keen to make Steve Seddon's loan move permanent, there was hardly a fan who disapproved.
The left-back has been a revelation since arriving from Birmingham in January, with his forays down the flank and dead-ball deliveries bolstering the Blues’ attacking threat.
As things stand, it’s a move that would suit both Pompey and the former Wimbledon defender, who’s relished regular minutes after not featuring for Pep Clotet's men since August.
But the big question is how much would Seddon cost?
With effectively two years remaining on his St Andrew's deal, the Blues would have to get the cheque book out and agree on a fee with the Championship outfit.
Valuing a player isn’t a straightforward task, though, as factors such as training and development costs come into consideration.
Meanwhile, the valuations on, say, transfermarkt.com should always be taken with a pinch of salt as there’s no method given to their figures.
Nevertheless, when last assessing Seddon's worth in October 2019, the German-based website priced him at £135,000.
That would represent a bargain but it’s unrealistic to think Pompey could get him for that.
Then there's the game so many of us have been playing to pass the time during lockdown – Football Manager.
Again, how they value players remains unknown.
But their figure of £402,000 would be closer to what you'd expect for the defender.
An alternative means to calculate Seddon's cost would be to look at recent examples of full-backs who've completed similar switches from Championship clubs.
In that case, Lewie Coyle is the best place to start.
Like Seddon, the right-back had impressed on loan in League One for Fleetwood from Leeds – albeit for two-and-a-half seasons – before agreeing a permanent move in January, with the transfer fee undisclosed.
The reported price tag Marco Bielsa slapped on the 24-year-old ahead of his switch was £500,000 – and that was with only six months left on his Elland Road contract.
However, Seddon has two years remaining at St Andrew’s, which would strengthen Birmingham’s bargaining power.
Another transfer to use as a reference is Danny Fox's move to Wigan in January 2019.
Granted, the move came during the Latics’ Championship-season return, but it’s the division Pompey could be in at the start of the new campaign.
Paul Cook's side operate a tight budget compared to others in the second tier and sat 20th when Fox joined from Nottingham Forest for a reported £300,000.
Meanwhile, there's Birmingham's financial situation to take into account, which could inflate Seddon's price.
Brum are facing the prospect of another points deduction, after breaching the EFL’s financial regulations for a second successive season.
In addition, their players recently accepted a 50-per-cent wage deferral on salaries above £6,000 amid the coronavirus crisis.
Finally, Seddon's future could hinge on whether Kristian Pedersen remains a Birmingham player at the end of the season.
He's been their stand-out performer this term and a key reason why Seddon couldn’t break into Clotet’s set-up.
Should Pedersen depart, having been linked with Watford in January, then they may feel they've got a ready-made replacement at no extra cost.
Consequently, Pompey would be powerless – just like when they failed to sign Ben Thompson permanently from Millwall.
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