Manchester United have reportedly been dealt a blow in their chase to sign Real Madrid left-back Sergio Reguilon this summer. Spanish source El Partidazo de COPE has stated that United are interested in signing the Spanish fullback for £27 million this summer but that the Madrid club want to insert a buyback clause in the contract which would allow the club to bring the player back to the club for the same fee, should they want to. This is not a good deal at all in my opinion.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may well be interested in signing a new left-back this summer, to rival both Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams in the position, but if it is a bad deal for United, it should be something that is left. There would be no benefit for United other than having a new left-back at the club as if the player does well, Madrid will buy him back in the next transfer window and United will be left with nothing – not even a return on their initial investment.
It might sound like a great deal for some clubs, as they would see their initial investment on the player returned, minus wages, bonuses agent fees etc but for a club as big as United, the deal would be an embarrassment as Real Madrid would literally be pulling their pants down. If Reguilon had a season in the Premier League and did well, or if Marcello retired or suffered a major injury, the club would just let United know of their intent to re-sign the player, him leaving United whether he wanted to or not.
If you think about it, this would in effect be similar to a loan spell but with no guarantee that the player would return to his former club. United would not have the luxury of building a team around the Spanish left-back, a team for the future, which would always leave the club wondering if their rebuild would soon be picked apart with the Madrid club buying the player back at the same fee that United spent. For United to get a benefit in such a deal, the buyback clause would need to be inflated fo say £40 million.
This would give United something out of the deal which would probably repay the club for the training, development and time put into the player in his time at the club, heading back to Madrid for £13 million more than he signed for, which would be a bargain for both United and Madrid. However, when Madrid sell players, they seem to do it on their terms. This could also be a payback for the failed pursuit of David De Gea in the summer of 2015 in which a fax machine played a major part in the goalkeeper staying put.
United should stick to their guns if they want to sign Reguilon this summer, and should do all they can to let the Madrid club know that a buyback clause will not work for them, maybe even offering the club more money for that option to be negated from a possible deal. If United can then get a deal done, great. If not, move onto another target – which might even be a better option right now. With fewer than four weeks remaining in the summer transfer window, United do not have much time to waste.
Written by John Walker