As fervent fans of football, we all presume to know a thing or two about professional athletes contracts. This is obviously absurd, but there is a sliver of sense to it; when you spend so much time digging into the details of salaries, release clauses, bonuses percentages, sell-on clauses and, back in the day, co-ownership terms, you tend to pick up a thing or two. However, in reality, we don’t know much; for instance, how are they notified that certain clauses are met: does Monchi swipe right? Is there some sort of elaborate, clandestine handshake, a smoke signal perhaps?
No matter one’s level of expertise, perceived or genuine, the contractual wrinkle that causes the most consternation is the release clause; the bit of language that says Player X can be had if Club Y is willing to play Amount Z. Roma has been bit by this bug a few times in recent years, but what, on the surface, seems like a capitulation from a club is actually just a negotiating tactic—the team grants a release clause in exchange for slightly lower salary terms.
It’s a give and take like any other contract negotiation, and, at least in terms of two of Roma’s most sought after assets, that give and take may be taken back. According to several sources, most notably the Corriere dello Sport, Monchi may be revising or completely rescinding the release/buyout clause from the contracts of Kostas Manolas and Lorenzo Pellegrini.
While this may seem like a trivial bit of news, you may recall that Manolas’ release clause was indeed triggered by Chelsea this past summer. Fortunately for us, Manolas rebuffed those advances, but it was nevertheless a reminder that no player, no matter their stature or role within the club, is really ever that far from being sold. For Manolas, it was simply a matter of €36 million, an absurdly low price point given his age, experience and the market for defenders in general. And for Lorenzo Pellegrini, who is once again the darling of the league, suitors may soon come calling for his clause.
So, if this rumor is indeed accurate, Roma paying a little more up front in order to keep these two key cogs is very welcomed news.