The genuine cost of Victor Osimhen’s transfer from Lille to Napoli has been calculated at €47.5m, with some accounting techniques used to reach €80m, claim the Corriere dello Sport.
Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis usually refuses to give details on the cost of his transfer deals, but was very eager to tell various reporters that the cost was €80m.
Italian sources were consistent in pointing to the transfer fee as €50m plus difficult to achieve bonuses.
This is a huge amount for a 21-year-old with just one Ligue 1 season under his belt and above all out of character for a club like Napoli.
The Corriere dello Sport did some digging and worked out the ‘real’ cost of the operation is actually closer to €47.5m – and even that can be paid over five years.
There are also €2.5m in bonuses to reach €50m, but that is only if Napoli win the Champions League.
Again, there are a further €10m in performance-related bonuses, also extremely difficult to achieve, for instance winning the Ballon d’Or.
A massive €20m is calculated by sending goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis – third choice at Napoli – and three youth team players to Lille, valuing them all at €5m each.
However, the Corriere dello Sport and CalcioNapoli24 point out the youth team players won’t even go to France.
They are expected to remain in Naples ‘on loan’ and won’t pay for the players until they wear the Lille jersey, which they might never even do.
This use of youth team players in exchange deals is fairly new for Napoli, but certainly not in Italian football, where Juventus are arguably the masters of this accounting system.
Youth team players, some with no Serie A appearances at all, can be traded as part of larger deals and registered with improbable transfer fees on the balance sheet.
This trick using the ‘plusvalenza’ – essentially a virtual value agreed by the two clubs – can therefore help balance everyone’s books without money really changing hands.
There was an investigation last summer into fake ‘plusvalenza’ deals involving Chievo and Cesena.
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