True win-wins remain rare in the world. German footballing magazine Kicker reflects on the possibility that Ante Rebic and André Silva were both sold for far below their market value in an attempt to keep a third party from staking a claim.
|Ante Rebic.||Photo: Антон Зайцев/Soccer.ru/CC-by-SA 3.0|
The nice and tidy swap that saw Eintracht Frankfurt and AC Milan purchase players they had bilaterally loaned last summer at the transfer deadline may not be so nice and tidy after all. One noted that the sale prices of both players - estimated at around €9 million - were suspiciously low. German footballing magazine Kicker reports there may be a reason for this.
Frankfurt and AC Milan, who did include purchase options in their original loans, appear to have worked out low sale prices in an effort to minimize the potential amount of money owed to a third Italian club, AC Fiorentina. A loan extension Frankfurt agreed upon with Fiorentina in the autumn of 2017 left Fiorentina entitled to 50 percent of Rebic's re-sale value.
The legality of any claim by Fiorentina is sure to be extremely complicated. Frankfurt and Fiorentina technically swapped Rebic a whopping five times between 2016 and 2018. What is known is that the 2017 loan extension was still apparently in effect when Rebic permanently moved to the SGE. It was this agreement that triggered Rebic's €2 million purchase clause in January 2018.
Speculation in Italian footballing circles holds that Milan didn't even buy Rebic from Frankfurt outright. With financial terms of Rebic's transfer not being disclosed, the SGE will avoid cutting Fiorentina a slice of the money by paying the Italian club solely in bonus payments. This cannot, however, be verified.
Frankfurt CEO Fredi Bobic declined to discuss specific numbers with Kicker, saying only "In these economically difficult times, we spent a long time looking for solutions. Both clubs wanted to keep their players and we managed that."