It’s shaping up to be a very busy summer off the field with a host of Europe’s top clubs embarking on regeneration projects after below-par seasons. Therefore several of the stars of the season just gone in La Liga with relatively low release fees are likely to attract interest.
In Spain, clubs are required by law to include such clauses in the contracts of all their players. With transfer fees exploding upwards over the past couple of years, figures which may once have looked like adequate deterrents, now feel more like ‘come and get me’ pleas particularly to Premier League clubs, all of whom have cash to splash.
These are five La Liga players whose release clauses are quite low and may be activated this summer:
Pablo Sarabia, Sevilla – €18 million (£16m)
— footballespana (@footballespana_) May 21, 2019
Before they sign any players or do anything this summer, Sevilla’s top priority should be and most likely is sorting out a new deal for Pablo Sarabia. The winger was fantastic for the Andalusians this season with 16 goals and 14 assists in all competitions, eye-watering stats that only Leo Messi could better.
However Sarabia’s Sevilla deal expires in June 2020 and he has a criminally low release clause of just €18 million. There are quite literally dozens of clubs around Europe who could afford to pay that figure and would benefit from having Sarabia in their ranks.
Sevilla pulled off one of the bargains of the century by snapping him from relegated Getafe for just €1 million in 2016. He is currently worth 40 times that according to transfermarkt and at 27 is heading into his prime years. Sevilla Sporting Director Monchi will be desperate to get Sarabia signed up quickly but would be powerless to prevent him leaving, should he want a fresh start elsewhere.
Guillermo Maripan, Alavés – €25 million (£22m)
— Fussboll (@Fussboll_) May 29, 2019
There is likely to be a real clamour for centre-backs across Europe with not many top ones around and Guillermo Maripan is one man whose name could come into consideration. The Chilean was a major factor in the success Alaves had during the first half of the season and was linked with Barcelona around January time.
The 25 year old is perhaps not quite on that level yet but it’s hard to see why a mid-ranking Premier League side or one of the bigger clubs in Italy would be put off by his reported €25 million release clause, although in truth Alaves may be willing to settle for slightly less.
Maripan is in the Chile squad which will defend their Copa America crown in June and could be keen to sort his club future out before jetting off to Brazil for that competition.
Pablo Fornals, Villarreal – €33 million (£29m)
Pablo Fornals to the rescue! ?
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) February 21, 2019
Pablo Fornals’ release fee has been cited at just €20 million by some English media outlets but is believed to be €33 million.
That’s still a fairly low figure for one of the most promising young Spanish players. Fornals was one of the few Villarreal players to come out of the season just gone with much praise. He isn’t the finished article yet but the 23 year old has the raw talent to go onto play for one of the strongest teams in Europe and right now Villarreal are some way off that level.
The Yellow Submarine have something of a track record when it comes to selling their young stars in recent years and it would be no surprise at all if a club activates Fornals’ €33 million release fee this summer.
Djene Dakonam, Getafe – €35 million (£31m)
Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Getafe centre-back Djene Dakonam, who has a £30m release clause, with Arsenal thought to have already made contact with the La Liga side. [AS] #afc pic.twitter.com/1qniRWkeSO
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) March 20, 2019
The €35 million release clause in Djene Dakonam’s contract is a good example of a figure which would have seemed if anything excessive when the Togo international signed for Getafe in 2017 for just €2.5 million. However Djene’s progress has been such that many of Europe’s top clubs are now eyeing him up.
He has been a rock at the heart of the Getafe defence over the past two years and he so nearly helped steer Geta into the Champions League this term. Djene was one of the outstanding centre-backs in La Liga this term and possesses all the attributes to succeed in a more physical league.
Borja Iglesias, Espanyol – €28 million (£24.5m)
— Campus Borja Iglesias (@CampusBIglesias) May 27, 2019
Borja Iglesias had literally only played a few minutes of top flight football before this season but the 26 year old was an absolute star for Espanyol, scoring 20 goals in all competitions as the Catalan club surprisingly secured European football.
That may not necessarily be enough to convince him to stay put though. Proven goalscorers invariably go for more than talented players in other positions and many Premier League clubs may look at Iglesias as the kind of player who could score the goals to fire them to survival next term.
Simply put, there aren’t too many of those players around which makes the €28 million release clause in the contract of Borja Iglesias look very low indeed. So far, he has made noises suggesting he is happy to stay put at the RCDE Stadium but Espanyol may need to offer him a much improved deal to ensure he doesn’t depart the club after only one season.