Shaktar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho is pleading with his club to lower the ‘buy-out’ clause in his contract to allow him to speak to Manchester City about a possible move to Eastlands. The 28 year-old featured strongly in Shaktar’s Champions’ League adventure, particularly starring in the group games against Chelsea, marking him out as a potential signing for many of Europe’s elite clubs. It seems a bit of a strange scenario therefore, that ‘moneybags’ City wouldn’t stump up the brass, but in these days of Financial Fair Play, even the oil rich clubs have to have a care to saving the odd million or so.
Fernandinho’s position is that when he signed for Shaktar, he was assured by the club’s hierarchy that the £40million clause could be negotiated if a major club came in for him. A little naïve perhaps, but he is now calling on the club to honour this. It’s perhaps unsurprising that the club do not quite see it this way. The position is now approaching a bit of a stand-off, wherein the club are sticking to their clause, and the player is refusing to sign a new contract. Who will blink first?
From the club’s perspective, they are aware that they have a valuable commodity and want to get full recompense from any buying club. The problem with that stance however is that should no deal be agreed, and the player remains steadfast in his stance not to sign a new contract, each passing day brings closer the possibility of a ‘Bosman’ transfer leaving the club with a player walking away with no fee at all. The player does not hold all of the cards however.
Fernandinho will be acutely aware that City’s interest may well quickly wane if the possibility of a deal becomes mired in intractable negotiations and an inability to agree a price. The situation may not only scupper this potential deal, but may also discourage any other club considering an approach for the player.
As it lies, it’s unsure how determined City are to pursue their interest in Fernandinho, and with other options potentially available around Europe, they’re probably in the pound seats. Sitting back and awaiting developments whilst considering other potential acquisitions is a fairly comfortable position to be in. It seems clear that should the deal go through eventually however, there will need to be a long period of negotiations before the signatures are put to it. From the player’s point of view, I’d advise him also to have a care to any buy-out clauses involved.