On Thursday, we tried to explain that there couldn’t be a ‘buy-back clause’ per se in Memphis’ deal from Manchester United to Lyon because they aren’t allowed by the French league.
Article 202 of their regulation states: “Club directors cannot sign off on a contract containing a ‘release clause’ (pre-agreeing, in exchange for compensation, the breach of the contract by either of the contracting parties), ‘cancellation clause’ or a unilateral termination clause with a French or foreign professional player, whether it be with the player or the club.”
This covered a wide variety of clauses, including release clauses, but a first-option clause with a fixed price has been inserted in the deal, as confirmed by Lyon’s president Jean-Michel Aulas on Friday during the press conference presenting the player.
While Aulas was very iffy about the details, he did state that there was a fixed price in there, which stood at around €35m.
A fairly affordable price for a team like United, if you ask us.
What this means isn’t clear, but our guess would be that whatever a club in the future offers for Memphis, Manchester United would most likely have a first option on the deal, and Lyon would have to accept a bid of €35m from the Premier League side.
They would, of course, also be able to accept the higher fee from other sides, and then it would be up to Memphis Depay himself to choose where he wants to go next, possibly costing Lyon some money in the process if he chose United.
If Depay excels and another club offer €50m then it would appear Manchester United could get the player for €35m. One would have to ask why a club would do that, given this clause is public.
Without the actual details, it’s hard to fully grasp what the ‘clause’ is, but that’s the information everyone has been given, and that’s all we have to go on.