Date: 25th June 2018 at 8:00pm
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Ever since Neymar’s €222m move to Paris Saint-Germain surprised the football world last summer, the reverberations have been felt throughout the game.

The inflated prices that have been ever-present in recent years went on to a different level overnight. The Brazilian’s sale led to a host of other sizeable transfers like Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Kylian Mbappe and Virgil van Dijk that broke records of their own.

It has left many club owners and presidents paranoid about how to secure their players. Release clauses are part of all contracts in Italy and Spain, and many clubs began revising their star’s contracts to increase the buyout fee needed for them to be sold.

Florentino Perez was one of those who was spurred into action by the Neymar deal. Marca reports that Real re-negotiated the clauses in a number of player’s contracts, including one Mateo Kovacic.

The Croatian’s interview at the end of last week prompted talk of us signing him. On the face of it, he looks like a perfect match. Comfortable on the ball, good dribbling skills and able to play forward passes, the 24-year-old is seen as a good replacement for Mousa Dembele.

His reported release clause was said to be €50m (£44m), a sizeable figure but not entirely unfeasible. However, Marca believe this fee was increased to €300m (£264m) last summer, in the aftermath of the Neymar deal.

The upshot of all this then is that the market values of players have and will increase even further. English clubs rarely use release clauses and Daniel Levy has used that to his advantage when selling players in the past.

Teams across Europe have, in a lot of cases, eliminated the buyout fee from the equation of their own transfer dealings and pushed up prices. With that being the case, signing players is likely to be an even more drawn-out process for this club than it has been in the past. Something which really isn’t good to hear.

Even if a player like Kovacic is keen to leave, you can bet that with no release clause hanging over their heads, Real will fight for all they can get. The likely scenario is that we would quickly move on to cheaper and more easily attainable targets. Something it seems we’ve already been doing by our scouting of Ligue One talent.


9 Replies to “The Spectre of Neymar And Tottenham’s Transfer Dealings This Summer”

  • Our successful signings should be, by and large, not the big money signings but the signings that require Poch to develop the talent. don’t really want Neymar at WHL. talented as he is, he’s not a decent fellow. let him go elsewhere. let’s bring in more Dele Alli types. let’s see Moura develop. let’s see another CE develop at WHL.

  • Neymar’s sale did more to help tottenham than hurt us. Neymar’s sale has made it abundantly clear to the “right now” acquisitioners that players like Kane, Dele, Ericksen et al are going to require big transfer fees.
    “Right now ” teams (like RM and MU) get less advantage. They do not sell their stars unless they are finished with them. If RM is finished with Kovacic (as it appears they are) having a restrictive buy out clause will not be helpful to them. He would become like Bale who wants to move on, whom RM wants to move on; but whose transfer fee and wages make the move unlikely. Development teams, like Spurs want to hold onto their acquisitions until they reach their potential and contribute to the team. “Right now” acquisition teams acquire developed players and expect their acquisitions to deliver immediately. If they do not or if they start to fade , they are moved on as quickly as possible. Restrictive buy out clauses do not help0 these teams.

  • Druid – excellent point. PSG started that chain that ended up with clubs like Southampton getting £75m for Van Dijk. That deal is still helping us now with the valuation of Toby. Otherwise the value would have been accepted at the Walker or Mendy benchmark and Toby would already be a red.

    However, my guess is that supply and demand will naturally accommodate these outliers and not adjust every player’s valuation. Chairman of the big clubs are seeing higher revenues because of the TV monies and that will put player valuations up slightly though. What may also happen is some disruption around England having an earlier transfer window close date versus the rest of Europe. That could send it either direction would be my guess.

    Part of me is also thinking that Levy is calling the bluff of some of these teams like Juventus. When I think what they are being forced to spend on de Ligt and Martial, that is the genius of Levy at work. We don’t get the players but I’m wondering whether we were ready for that all along. That’s not our plan.

  • What the rise in fees has done is increased the advantage those clubs that develop their own players have. Its helped us a lot over the past few years, enabled us to punch above our weight. We can see that with the England team. Its not just Kane, a player so good we would never have been able to buy him but because he came through the youth set up cost us nothing. How many people when we signed Trippier expected to be reading the rave reviews he’s now getting at the World Cup ? That’s how much he’s improved. The problem with that approach of course is its no good making snap judgements on a player as soon as he arrives. It may be a couple of seasons before you really see what you’ve got.

  • Jod – the youngsters transfer value is also interesting. It seems that the big clubs invest their scouting hours spying on the lower league academies and each others academies rather than the schoolboy system. That means that any club now will put a much higher value on a kid once they’ve signed their professional contract with the club. That has meant that now clubs are trying to nick players as they sign their first professional contract and the kids even move internationally.

    Part of me would like to move to a hybrid Spanish model where teams like Spurs could either formally have an A team playing in a lower league or have a legal relationship with a lower team like Barnet and create a place where these kids can play. It would need to thoughtfully created and tightly regulated though as any new system gets abuse. Between Juve and Chelsea they had over 80 players out on loan last season and the majority of those aren’t being nurtured correctly or will ever get a chance.

  • muttley – Good point. I suspect we are actually in a better position than most when it comes to keeping the youngsters we want to keep. It does seem to me that young players have to take some responsibility for their own development, do they take the biggest cheque or go somewhere they will actually play ? If you take Loftus Cheek as an example he is the same age as Ali and has been well paid by Chelsea but only finally got into the England squad as a result of a season playing regular football at Palace. I’d contrast it with someone like Sessegnon who seems to make his decisions purely for football reasons.

  • A whole lot of interesting posts today, 100% agree with you all, so it seems we are going the right way, maybe, after a few ere! cock ups, Mr Levy needs a pat on the back. COYS

  • We are hardly innocent for bumping up higher transfer fee’s.

    I remember us selling Carrick for nearly 20m, at the time it was a massive fee. Berbatov went for over 30m as did Modric.

    Then the biggie Bale for 80m.

  • We certainly can’t be accused of inflating transfer fees in this widow. Man U, Arsenal, and Liverpool all strengthening, Man City not needing to, having amassed 100 points in the last campaign, only Chelsea adopting our approach by sitting on their hands, but they are looking to install a new manager. We on the other hand seem content to live in hope that we can still compete for a top 4 and CL place. The WC is an empty excuse, it is not stopping the aforementioned clubs, only apparently Spurs.

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