Crucial Details You Need to Understand During the Transfer Window Process

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. Reports suggest that Real Madrid are willing to offer €80 million plus Gareth Bale in exchange with Pogba. PHOTO/FILE

The transfer market is in full force and speculation is rife about various players leaving one club for the other, but what really goes into having a successful transfer? What determines a transfer fee? Why would Griezmann have a release clause while Pogba lacks the same?

Player contracts

Potential transfers that may happen sometimes later begin when a player signs a contract. It could either be contract extension or it could be contract renewal.

The length on the contract most of the time is based on the age of the player. Younger players with potential for improvement will be given longer contracts while older players will be given shorter contracts.

Tying a younger player to a longer contract makes it easier for a club to maximize on the fees when selling the player. These contracts are binding and cannot be broken. Point in case Gareth Bale, Zidane has mooted that he has no intention of playing Bale in the next season. So it means a player earning close to 15 million pounds a year can play golf while earning his money without any bother in the world.

Buyout clause

Transfers in Spain differ from those in England because of the insertion of a buyout clause. Every player who signs a professional contract in Spain must have a buyout clause inserted into the contract. This is basically the money that is required to release the player from his contract.

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Players below the age of 28yrs can serve at least 3 years of their contract before they activate the buyout clause. Those above the age of 28 years can do the same after 2 years.

These clause are put as high as possible to prevent other teams approaching players from rivals. Teams may negotiate outside the prohibition of the buyout clause and in case they fail to agree then the buying team may deposit the stated clause at La Liga’s headquarters through the player without consulting the selling team.

Reference to Neymars move to PSG from Barca.

Release clause vs buyout clause

A release clause is different from a buyout clause in the sense that it has stipulation that can be monetary and non-monetary to have a player released.

This is mostly negotiated by the player rather than the team. A player joining a Premier League team may negotiate to have release clause asking to be sold at certain amount to certain teams in case the team is relegated.

Such clauses exist in the Premier League though not very common. Luiz Suarez had a release clause! Before the 40 million + 1 fiasco.

Determination of a transfer fee

In the absence of a buyout clause, because a different legal system, EPL teams have to negotiate a transfer fee of a player based on a few factors. The most important being the length of a contract.

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Other factors include age, performance, who is the buyer and financial position of the selling club.

Younger players with potential to improve will command more fee than older players.

With the skyrocketing of the TV deals Premier League teams play hard balls these days because they don’t have to sell their best players to make ends meet. It’s now more difficult for a team like Arsenal to take Winfred Zaha off Crystal compared to when Manchester United prised Cantona from Leeds many years ago. Crystal Palace are moneyed and they don’t need to sell thus 80million plus.

Bosman/free transfer

A 1995 ruling introduced the Bosman ruling. Prior to this clubs refused to release a player at the expiry of their contracts, demanding compensation. After this famous ruling a player may see out his contract knowing they would be no fee demanded for them to join a new club.

Clubs tend to protect themselves from such scenarios by either extending a player’s contract the closer they get to one year remaining on the contract or by selling the player before they have only a year remaining.

A player has the least value with only a year remaining and thus stringent clubs rarely allow this to happen. A player is also allowed to engage with other clubs with less than 6 months remaining. Otherwise if a club engages a player without permission of the mother club, they may be reported to FIFA.

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Player and new club agreement

Before a transfer goes through, a player must agree terms with the new club. Terms may entail many things but mostly involve salary and length of contract. Alexis Sanchez would like to leave Manchester United but he wouldn’t want to leave for a club that pays him less than the £400,000 he makes. A player thus cannot be sold against their wishes.

After player and club agreement, the move must be ratified by the league. In some instances moves have been rejected for various reasons. The UK is notoriously strict on its work permits for non-European Union players.

The players have to meet a certain threshold in terms of international matches to be considered. Those who are young and yet to be capped must be proven to be of outstanding talent.

It’s thus more difficult for Everton to go fish young upcoming players in Rio, compared to Real Betis. Percy Tau signed by Brighton was sent on loan last season because he couldn’t gain a work permit. Brighton hope that his exploits at AFCON may help his case.

You probably now know why Zaha is worth 80million.

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Senior sports enthusiast and accurate commentator.

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