One of the summer’s open secrets was made official this evening, as Nice announced Justin Kluivert’s signature on a loan deal with several clauses to be met in order for a permanent move away from A.S. Roma to materialize next season. The young Dutch forward showed zero interest in opening up a new chapter of his Roma career in Italian football and reserved his goodbyes on social media to the RB Leipzig fans this summer after Kluivert’s ideal move back to the Bundesliga was dashed.
From Roma’s point of view, the move represents an opportunity to offset Kluivert’s €2 million a year net salary onto the Ligue 1 club for the 2021-2022 season, as well as a €1 million loan fee to Roma on top, but whether the French club are really in a position to sign Kluivert permanently remains to be seen.
Justin #Kluivert è un nuovo giocatore del Nizza: alla #ASRoma 1 milione per il prestito oneroso e 14 milioni per il diritto di riscatto che diventa obbligo in caso di qualificazione a #UCL o #UEL + tot. presenze@Ema_Zotti #calciomercato #nice pic.twitter.com/H3cRONNb36— Filippo Biafora (@Fil_Biafora) July 20, 2021
That’s because Kluivert’s €14 million mandatory-buy option depends on Nice qualifying for European football by the end of next season AND playing Kluivert for a minimum amount of games during the season. If those conditions are met—according to Filippo Biafora, Nice could trigger the clause by qualifying for either the Champions or Europa League but not the Conference League—then Kluivert will be off to Ligue 1 permanently by the summer of 2022.
If the permanent fee is triggered, Roma would owe Ajax a 10% percent sell-on fee in the process.
Either way, there’s nothing spectacular about this move from Roma’s point of view—it’s just laying off expenses and getting what they can for moving a young talent. But Roma were left little choice by Kluivert clearly, and vocally, picturing his future elsewhere. And it’s hard not to see where Kluivert is coming from: Since he’s been contracted to Roma, the Italian club have been through no less than four different coaches, three different sporting directors, countless different footballing philosophies, and a change of ownership.
Stability continues to evade this club and it isn’t the kind of environment you’d wish on any young player in their late teens or early twenties. Justin’s father Patrick tried to warn him, and here we are years later.
Best of luck, Kluivert.