With the increasing trend of players running down their contracts in order to secure bigger contracts and the after-effects of the pandemic making themselves felt, there is no doubt the transfer market has changed. Yet some of the losses that clubs are willing to eat as a result never fail to raise eyebrows.
That is the case with Luka Jovic. Highly regarded as a teenage sensation coming through, the Serbian striker moved to Benfica aged 19 and although it never quite worked for Jovic in Portugal, a loan move to Eintracht Frankfurt proved his awakening. After two excellent seasons there, he earned a move to Real Madrid for an eye-watering £56.7m.
Luka Jovi?, in Florence tomorrow in order to complete his move as new Fiorentina player. ??? #transfers
?? Permanent deal for free, but Fiorentina will pay whole salary;
?? Real Madrid to receive 50% of future sale;
?? Contract until June 2024 with an option for 2 more years.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 7, 2022
Yet after three years in Madrid, including six months back at Eintracht on loan, both parties are willing to call time on his spell in Spain. According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Jovic will move to Fiorentina on a free. La Viola will take over all of his wages and Real Madrid will receive 50% of any fee they gain from a future sale. According to Marca, a large part of the reason that Los Blancos are sanctioning the deal is due to the fact they will owe him over £25m in wages over the next three years.
Even with that explanation, it is still testament to the incredible risk that clubs take on players. While Barcelona have had to admit defeat on Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, Real Madrid have also struggled to get the best out of Eden Hazard. In cases like those of Jovic and Dembele, the argument that they will have a resale value is always made strongly, but even that can end up redundant at a certain point of underperformance.