WITHOUT being rude, I assumed there had been an embarrassing typo when I read about a £30 million price tag being slapped on former Ipswich Town defender Adam Webster.

To say I was taken aback would be an understatement.

The 24-year-old was impressive during his time at Portman Road but, given his injury record, it was smart business selling him to Bristol City for a potential £8m (with add-ons).

Now, after just one season at Ashton Gate, it’s being reported that Aston Villa have had a £12m bid rebuffed by the Robins.

And according to media outlets in the West Country, City’s valuation of their man is in the eye-watering region of £30m.


To me, that screams two things.

One, they’ve made a gross error of judgement, conjuring up a wildly speculative sum.

Or two, more likely and back in the real world, they’ve got no intention of selling him and such an inflated figure is a clear ‘hands off’ message to potential suitors.

Fair play if so, because it shows ambition, rather than a desire to cash in.

However, football has surely gone mad if Webster – a player with big potential but no Premier League experience - is rated at £30m.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked him during his time at Portman Road.

He was a cool customer, an elegant two-footed centre-half whose distribution out of defence was generally sound (although he lacked conviction in the air).

But his injury record was unfortunate to say the least, hence the fact it was such a smart move to ship him out for great money (Paul Hurst’s best transfer-related decision?).

Ironically, Webster’s gone on to have a trouble-free season and repeatedly starred for the Robins.

So I can see why he’s attracted admiring glances, popping up on other clubs’ radars… but not worth £30m.

Half that figure is a more realistic sum.

Mind you, a move of such monstrous proportions could trigger a cash windfall for Town.

The Blues would expect to receive ten per cent of any fee paid – an amount that would be a welcome but unexpected bonus for manager Paul Lambert.

So let’s hope the move goes ahead – even if it means the football world has indeed gone mad.

Talking of transfers, I was surprised by some people’s reaction online to the news Bartosz Bialkowski is no longer joining Millwall.

Some have criticised him for wanting to abandon a ‘sinking ship’, blaming him for last season’s failings, saying his head has been turned and arguing he’s now surplus to requirements.

I strongly disagree, although I still think there’s every chance he’ll move on this summer.

The best clubs – certainly those with ambition - want to keep their best players.

Bialkowski most definitely falls into that category.