A little over a week ago, I did a video on 7 players with surprisingly low release clauses, which was a repeat of a video I did a little over two years ago since all the personnel had changed. Lots of people requested that I follow it up with 7 players with ridiculously high release clauses, which is another video I did a couple of years ago, but since this is also a completely new seven I was happy to oblige.
Right, I won’t bore you with an overly long introduction, but to any party poopers yes we all know that release clauses in Spain are mandatory and a lot of teams just pick a prohibitively high figure in the hope that it acts as a deterrent in terms of other teams trying to sign their players. This is just a bit of fun, and mildly interesting in my opinion.
Here are 7 ridiculously high release clauses:
7. Tete – £129 million
Getting the ball rolling with this seven is a Brazilian who plays for Shakhtar Donetsk… I know, who’d have thought it! One of ten Brazilians contracted to the Ukrainians who have been exiled from their home ground since 2017, Tete joined Shakhtar 11 months ago. Previously contracted to Gremio, the 19-year-old was yet to make his first team debut in Brazil, but he has since made more than 20 appearances for Shakhtar. An enormously exciting prospect, Tete has the potential to become a world class right winger, but a release clause of £129 million is pretty eye-watering for someone who has only played 20 league games more than me.
6. Cui Min – £22 million
It’s no secret that transfer fees have become pretty astronomical in the Chinese Super League over the last five years, and clubs are now looking to protect their assets. Shenzhen FC centre-back Cui Min has by far the lowest release clause in this seven, but he is also by far the worst player in this seven. The 30-year-old would struggle to get a gig at a League Two side in England, but in China, he set Shenzhen back £9.5 million. Capped once by the Chinese national team, Shenzhen are clearly keen to keep hold of him, and the game really has gone if anyone were to activate his £22 million release clause.
5. Oriol Busquets – £172 million
Had you paid £172 million to sign a 21-year-old Sergio Busquets from Barcelona you would have got a pretty decent return on your investment, but I’m not so sure Oriol Busquets is destined to reach the heights of his namesake. The talented youngster, who is currently on-loan with FC Twente, has the potential to break into the Barcelona first team if he progresses well, but right now he has only played two games for the Catalan giants and a release clause of £172 million would make him the second most expensive footballer of all time – so I think a place in this seven is fairly justified.
4. Uros Racic – £86 million
It should come as no surprise that this seven becomes quite La Liga heavy at times, and in fourth place we have Valencia midfielder Uros Racic. A box-to-box type, Racic is a bit of a jack of all trades but a master of none. He joined Valencia in the summer of 2018 following his breakout campaign with Red Star Belgrade, but the 21-year-old is yet to make his senior debut for the Serbian national team. Having failed to get a game at Valencia, Racic spent the second half of last season on-loan with Tenerife, and is now on-loan with Portuguese high-flyers Familicao. He should have a decent career, and I’d be surprised if he never won a full cap for Serbia, but I’d be downright flabbergasted if he ever commanded a fee of £86 million.
3. Brahim Diaz – £646 million
In third place we take a significant step up in terms of quality but an eye-watering step up in terms of a release clause. Brahim Diaz’s release clause at Real Madrid is greater than the annual gross domestic product of eight countries across the world, which is obviously a little bit daft. The Spaniard joined Real Madrid from Manchester City for more than £15 million in January 2019, having made 15 appearances at the Etihad. Despite being a fine technician, he is yet to really catch Zinedine Zidane’s eye, and has only made 17 appearances for Los Blancos. Aged 20, Diaz reportedly earns more than £100,000 a week, but personally I can’t see him being signed for more than three times the all time world record transfer fee anytime soon.
2. Jean Pyerre – £103 million
There is an excellent academy setup at Gremio, and this seven features both a former and current Gremio academy graduate. Jean Pyerre is the current one, with the 21-year-old having made his league debut in August 2017. A leggy attacking midfielder and a bit of a set piece specialist, Pyerre has scored 5 goals in 38 league games for the Campeonato Brasileiro outfit, and he was rewarded with a new deal in the summer. That deal came with a hefty buyout clause of £103 million, no small fee for a man who hasn’t even represented Brazil at any youth level.
1. Alex Song – £69 million
The most ridiculous release clause in football surely has to be Alex Song at Sion in Switzerland. The former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder is only 32, even though it feels like he has been around forever, but Lionel Messi is perhaps the only 32-year-old who could command a fee in excess of £60 million. Song, who played his last game for Cameroon in 2014 and most recently played on-loan at West Ham and for Rubin Kazan, would do well to command 5% of that fee, and one can only assume an agent accidentally added an extra zero or two to his contract at some stage.