Chelsea’s decision to pay above Estevao’s release clause for Palmeiras striker: What’s the reasoning behind it?

Chelsea’s decision to pay above Estevao’s release clause for Palmeiras striker: What’s the reasoning behind it?

© IMAGO

Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson might not be the model of the field the Blues want Willian Estevao to follow when he completes his transfer to Stamford Bridge, but the executives of the club are seeking to use the deal they struck for the 17-year-old striker as a blueprint to land the Palmeiras forward.

Chelsea have made it their mission over the last couple of years to attract the brightest young talent in world football. It is starting to pay off. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are finishing the Premier League season strongly and are making a run towards European football.

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They may not be where they want to be, but at least progress is being made.

READ MORE:Moises Caicedo FINALLY paying back €116m record transfer fee

Willian Estevao is now being targeted as another player to get them back to the Premier League and Europe’s elite.

Negotiations are underway and Fabrizio Romano reports Chelsea are seeking to broker a deal worth more than the player’s €45 million release clause.

READ MORE: Latest Chelsea transfer rumours

Why are Chelsea willing to pay over the odds for Estevao?

The answer to the question is simple: Chelsea don’t want to overpay for Willian Estevao.

Instead, they are using this technique to reduce their risk.

Any signing comes with a risk, and that is particularly true when that deal is for a young player a club is buying because of their potential. There is, after all, no guarantee this will be realised. Perhaps he will sustain a serious injury, suffer a terminal drop in form or simply fail to adapt to a new country.

As such, €45m would be a massive outlay for Chelsea.

Willian Estevao
© IMAGO – Willian Estevao

Palmeiras, Willian Estevao’s club, are eager for this deal because it is guaranteed money.

What the Blues are offering instead is the prospect of the Brazilian club getting an even greater sum – but only if the teenager fulfils his potential.

The scouts and the people working at the club believe that Willian Estevao can be a generational talent

– Fabrizio Romano on Chelsea’s Estevao interest (10 May)

Romano has previously suggested that Chelsea could offer a total package worth €57m to tempt Palmeiras into taking a gamble over Estevao’s future.

An initial payment of €32m has been speculated to be earmarked for the Brazilian side. This means that they would be betting a €13m guaranteed payment on potentially getting as much as €12m more.

It is unclear what would trigger these bonus payments, but it would likely be appearances, goals and perhaps even Ballon d’Or wins on a personal level, as well as team achievements, such as qualifying for the Champions League.

A tried and trusted strategy

Chelsea used this structure before to tempt Villarreal into selling them Nicolas Jackson last summer for €37m.

They also did a similar thing with Enzo Fernandez. The Argentine’s release clause at Benfica was set at €120m, but the Blues paid €121m. This was not tied to bonus payments, making it slightly different. Chelsea did this to allow them to structure their instalment payments better.

Using the Jackson technique on Estevao is particularly advantageous for the Blues this summer. Fighting against Financial Fair Play, Chelsea need to keep their transfer outgoings as small as possible, and that means keeping initial payments down. The issue of the bonuses can be kicked down the road two or three years, when the club will, hopefully, be in a better position.

Chelsea’s negotiation technique is, therefore a smart one. It may be that they end up paying more than Estevao’s advertised release clause, but if they do, at least they will have a player worthy of such a price.

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