If Arsenal ever sell Mesut Ozil to a club in the Spanish league, Real Madrid have the right to match the transfer fee. And if they decline, Ozil’s former club would still be entitled to 33% of the playmaker’s final price.
Those are some of the revelations from a leaked version of Mesut Ozil’s transfer agreement that has been posted to the site Football Leaks, the same outlet that published a version of Gareth Bale’s contract last week. That leak debunked Real Madrid’s continued contention that Bale’s summer 2013 transfer fee was less than the price paid for Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United four years earlier. Bale’s fee was confirmed by the leak to be just south of 100 million euros.
While Ozil’s contract doesn’t include similar record-setting sums, a number of clauses paint the transfer as far more complex than a normal player sale.
The leaked documents confirm Arsenal agreed to pay a 44 million euro transfer fee for the German international in Sept. 2013, a figure that could reach as high as 50 million euros thanks to one add-on clause. For every season Arsenal reach UEFA Champions League’s knockout round during Ozil’s first six at the club, Arsenal owes Real Madrid an additional one million euros.
That’s fairly straight forward. The deal gets more complex on the topic of Arsenal selling Ozil, specifically back to a Spanish club. Should Arsenal choose to do so, Real Madrid must be notified and given up to 48 hours to match the bid, according to The Guardian, depending on how close the agreement comes to the end of a transfer window. Should Real Madrid decline to match, the club would still be entitled to one-third of the final fee, should the price exceed 50 million euros.
Given the current state of Spanish club finances, this reads like language to prevent Ozil from moving to Barcelona, though it is not beyond the realm of possibility to think Peter Lim could conjure up the money at Valencia, or Atletico Madrid could sell other players to come up with the fee. As Espanyol, recently taken over by ambitious Chinese investors, show, there’s always a chance outside ownership could inject money into another La Liga club. Even if that investment eventually wanes, as it has at Malaga under Sheikh Abduallah Al Thani, it could result in a temporary buyer in the transfer market.