Manchester City have taken the unprecedented step of including a 'Manchester United tax' in rising star Brahim Diaz's £22m transfer to Real Madrid. Real will pay an initial £15.5m for Diaz, with a further £6.5m payable in add-ons depending on the Spain under 21 attacking midfielder's success with the European champions.
But City have insisted on a special United clause that they hope will protect them financially should their rivals buy Diaz from Real in future. Whereas City will be entitled to 15 per cent of any sell-on fee for Diaz, that will jump to 40 per cent if the 19-year-old left Real for Old Trafford. It is thought to be the first time City have done anything of this nature.
The Premier League champions believe the overall deal represents excellent value for a teenager with just six months left on his contract and who has still to make a league start for the club.
Nonetheless, Diaz was held up by City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak as one of the shining lights of the club's academy alongside Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho, yet City have now lost two of that trio.
Sancho, 18, quit City for Borussia Dortmund in an £8m deal in August 2017 over a lack of playing time and Diaz has decided to follow suit and join Real after becoming frustrated by a shortage of first-team opportunities.
The arrival of Riyad Mahrez in a club-record £60m deal from Leicester in the summer knocked Diaz - who is represented by City manager Pep Guardiola's brother, Pere - further down the pecking order.
Diaz will hope his career blossoms away from Manchester in the way it has for Sancho in Germany. Sancho has established himself as a full England international and is proving an integral part of Dortmund's push for the Bundesliga title.
The loss of Diaz and Sancho will increase the pressure on Guardiola to incorporate Foden into his first team. City feel there is a clearer pathway for Foden than Diaz or Sancho. The England under 21 midfielder is touted as a long-term successor to David Silva and has just signed a new six-year contract.