Biggest release clauses in football as Gavi becomes fifth player protected by one BILLION Euros loophole

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FOOTBALL clubs today will do anything to keep hold of their prized possessions.

So they hand their stars huge contracts with hefty release clauses inserted in them to put off any potential buyers and/or get a massive transfer fee.

Former Chelsea star Andreas Christensen has an instance £430MILLION release clause in his contract at new club Barcelona

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Former Chelsea star Andreas Christensen has an instance £430MILLION release clause in his contract at new club BarcelonaCredit: PA

But who would be the most costliest?

It certainly isn’t Andreas Christensen the Barcelona new boy who has had a whopping £430million release clause slapped onto that deal. He doesn’t even feature in the top ten!

10. Brahim Diaz, Real Madrid, £641m

The Spanish midfielder, 22, spent his youth career at Malaga and then Manchester City, who he made his debut for in 2016.

But, with competition for places fierce, Diaz was bought by Real Madrid for £16m.

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However, he’s flattered to deceive and his £641m release clause certainly doesn’t appear to be justified.

The last two seasons have been spent on loan at AC Milan, where he just won Serie A.

Real Madrid flop Brahim Diaz has been with AC Milan on loan, but they won't pay his release clause

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Real Madrid flop Brahim Diaz has been with AC Milan on loan, but they won’t pay his release clauseCredit: Getty

9. Luka Modric, Real Madrid, £641m

The former Ballon d’Or winner is getting on a bit at 36, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to pay £641m for his services – despite his quality.

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Modric has committed his future to the club, recently signing a one-year extension.

The Croatian legend is a proven winner – having lifted the Champions League trophy five times.

Serial winner Luka Modric recently extended his stay at the Bernabeu until next year

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Serial winner Luka Modric recently extended his stay at the Bernabeu until next yearCredit: Getty

8. Federico Valverde, Real Madrid, £641m

A key man in the middle of the park for the LaLiga giants, the Uruguayan’s worth is obvious to Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Mind you, £641m for a tough-tackling defensive midfielder would be an extortionate amount to pay.

An extension he signed in 2021 will keep him at the club until 2027, when the 23-year-old’s release clause might just rise.

Federico Valverde has become one of the first names on the team sheet at Real Madrid

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Federico Valverde has become one of the first names on the team sheet at Real MadridCredit: Reuters

7. Antoine Griezmann, Barcelona, £685m

The French forward’s future is up in the air, as is the fee that could be paid for him.

Barcelona loaned Griezmann out on a two-year deal to former club Atletico Madrid, who have a £34m option to make the move permanent for the 31-year-old next summer.

That’s far less than the £685m release clause Barca insisted upon in his contract, when they signed him from Atletico for £108m in 2019.

Antoine Griezmann has been on loan at Atletico Madrid, who have an agreement to buy with Barcelona for far less than his release clause

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Antoine Griezmann has been on loan at Atletico Madrid, who have an agreement to buy with Barcelona for far less than his release clauseCredit: Getty

6. David Alaba, Real Madrid, £726m

The Spanish champions snapped up Alaba in 2021 on a free transfer – giving the 30-year-old a five-year contract worth around £17m a season.

They then protected their investment by slapping a £726m clause in the deal, that doesn’t expire until 2026.

Previously with Bayern Munich, Alaba enjoyed a successful first season with the club – winning LaLiga and the Champions League.

David Alaba could cost as much as £726m, according to his release clause

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David Alaba could cost as much as £726m, according to his release clauseCredit: Getty

5. Ronald Araujo, Barcelona, £846m

The future of Uruguayan defender Araujo, 23, was anyone’s guess until this summer, when he finally penned a new deal with the Catalans.

Astonishingly, they insisted on a £846m release clause that deterred interested parties, including Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd.

“FC Barcelona and the player Ronald Araujo have reached an agreement to renew his contract until 30 June 2026. The buyout clause stipulated is set at €1bn,” the club revealed.

Ronald Araujo was a Premier League target until penning a new deal at the Camp Nou

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Ronald Araujo was a Premier League target until penning a new deal at the Camp NouCredit: Getty

4. Karim Benzema, Real Madrid, £846m

Arguably the best player in the world right now, Benzema signed a new deal with Real Madrid in 2021 that will see him stay at the Bernabeu until 2023, when he will be 35.

But, if he’s still scoring like he is at the moment – at the rate of 44 goals a season in a Double-winning campaign – that will surely be extended again.

Will it dwarf the £846m current release fee? Don’t bet against it.

Karim Benzema has a whopping £846m release clause in his deal that expires next year

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Karim Benzema has a whopping £846m release clause in his deal that expires next yearCredit: Getty

3. Pedri, Barcelona, £846m

The future is bright for Barcelona, who recently tied up teen superstar Gavi with a £86m release clause in his deal.

Before that, it was Pedri who inked an astonishing contract last year at just 18 – that will keep him at the club until 2026.

That is, unless, someone wants to pay £846million to buy him.

Seeing he’s on a reported £38,000-per-week, you could say Barcelona are winning the club versus player battle.

Barcelona wonderkid Pedri is one of the most talented youngsters in the game

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Barcelona wonderkid Pedri is one of the most talented youngsters in the gameCredit: Getty
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2. Ansu Fati, Barcelona, £846m

In 2021, the jewel of Barcelona’s La Masia academy – Fati – agreed a mega six-year contract.

Like Pedri, he became the second player at the club to have a ridiculously inflated price tag put on his head.

However, he’s struggled for injuries ever since – after inheriting Lionel Messi’s No10 shirt.

Considered one of the best young players in the world, at 19 he has the world at his feet.

Ansu Fati has struggled for form since signing his mega six-year contract with a staggering £846m release clause

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Ansu Fati has struggled for form since signing his mega six-year contract with a staggering £846m release clauseCredit: Getty

1. Gavi, Barcelona, £846m

The 18-year-old wonderkid joined Barcelona team-mates Pedri, Fati and Araujo to become the lastest star with a €1billion buyout clause after signing a new four-year deal.

Barca were keen to insert a massive release clause in his contract after the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool showed interest.

All three clubs wanted to take advantage of Gavi’s previous buyout clause which was just £42m.

Gavi joins Fati, Aruajo and Pedri in boasting a €1billion release clause

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Gavi joins Fati, Aruajo and Pedri in boasting a €1billion release clauseCredit: Getty

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