Saturday 7 December 2019

Mesut Ozil leaked contract reveals Real Madrid have buy-back option from Arsenal

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil

Jeremy Wilson

Real Madrid negotiated a buy-back option from Arsenal for Mesut Ozil on a deal that is worth €50 million, according to a transfer document that was published today on the Football Leaks website.

The website has posted a series of documents in recent days, including the terms of Gareth Bale’s world-record transfer to Real Madrid, and new details of Arsenal’s club record deal for Ozil have now emerged.

The most striking element is the clause that gives Madrid a 48-hour first option on Ozil should Arsenal agree a sale for their playmaker to another Spanish club. The option does not apply if Arsenal were to sell Ozil to a club outside of Spain and would require Madrid to at least match the deal that had been agreed elsewhere. It is a very similar clause to the one Arsenal had inserted in their deal to sell Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and which they subsequently did not take up when he moved to Chelsea.

The breakdown of the Ozil payments is also revealing although does confirm a total fee that was worth around £42 million that has always been reported by Telegraph Sport. The changing exchange rate makes that total around £38 million today.

One curious element of the breakdown is that the final €6 million is paid in €1 million instalments each year Arsenal qualify for the group phase of the Champions League. This strongly suggests that Arsenal have been actively writing into their player contracts a clause that will mitigate the financial loss of ever not qualifying for the Champions League. They have never finished outside the top four in 20 years of Arsene Wenger but there have been a series of close finishes over recent years.

The €50 million fee is broken down into an initial €24 million payment that was completed on Sept 2, 2013 when Ozil joined Arsenal. A further €15 million was then payable on Sept 30, 2014 and then another €5 million on 30 Sept, 2015. The remaining €6 million was then split evenly over six years from July 1, 2014 subject to Champions League qualification. It means that the total deal cannot exceed €50 million, plus VAT.

Madrid also a secured a potentially sizeable sell-on clause should Ozil be sold to another Spanish club for more than €50 million that would entitle them to 33 per cent of any profit made in addition to the original fee.

There is a confidentiality clause in the document that forbids either party from disclosing the details of the deal to a third party without the prior written consent of the other party.

The publication of this document, then, will come as an embarrassment to both clubs. After the Bale and Anthony Martial transfer documents were also disclosed, it will further heighten concern within football at what over potentially sensitive documents could soon be published on the Football Leaks website.

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