Martin O'Neill has questioned the logic behind big-money transfers which continue to infiltrate football.
The Aston Villa boss was speaking in the wake of Wayne Bridge's £12million move from Chelsea to Manchester City on Saturday.
The Ulsterman believes player valuations are now unrealistic and concedes that clubs must now pay over the odds in their pursuit of new recruits.
O'Neill admits that even he was forced to break his own stringent transfer policies when he stumped up £9million for the raw talents of Ashley Young two years ago, but accepts that sometimes risks have to be taken when purchasing potential.
"If I thought eventually a player was going to be worth it then I might pay over the odds," he told the News of the World.
"But I would have preferred to pay £5m for Ashley at the time ... the fact that he's worth 15 times that now is immaterial."
Lingering on the point, O'Neill also admitted that Manchester City's new-found wealth has made them virtually untouchable in the transfer market.
"If we are in for the same player, there is no way we can compete with Manchester City. Definitely not," he added.
"As a player in the market, Man City have made things change."