In football, several players have had to pay additional fees out of their own pockets to seal their move. Oriol Romeu recently did just that to make the switch from Girona to Barcelona.
The off-season has always been full of transfer news. Clubs and their target players are busy holding talks, some have their agents deal with it, while some others are between the direct clubs’ representatives. The players tend to be the party who are less active in the negotiation, since they are not the ones involved directly in the financial transaction.
Some players, however, went above and beyond by using their personal fund to make it happen. Oriol Romeu is the most recent example. The La Masia academy graduate reportedly was willing to renounce part of his salary in order to complete the €4 million transfer fee from Girona to Barcelona. Blaugrana was only able to pay €3.4 million for the former Southampton and Chelsea man because of their financial situation.
Surprisingly, Romeu is not the first of this rare case. There were other players who did pay extra to smooth the deal with their former clubs. Interestingly, the Catalan side frequently show up in this transfer story. Whether it was a pure coincidence or not, fans might wonder if it is actually part of their transfer strategy. Here are the other five names who shockingly had no objections in paying to leave their former club.
Players who Did More than Necessary for Their Move
In January 2018, the Brazilian attacking midfielder was said to have paid somewhere between £9 million and £11.5 million to reduce the fee Barcelona needed to pay Liverpool. His transfer fee was up to £142 million, and he was expected to be Neymar’s replacement at Camp Nou. Neymar signed for PSG early in the 2017/18 season.
Coutinho did enjoy his early stint there by lifting La Liga trophy twice and registering 20 goals and 12 assists in all competitions. Unfortunately, his nightmare in Camp Nou began in 2019/20 when he was loaned out to Bayern Munich due to the arrival of Antoine Griezmann. His return to Catalan in 2020/21 did not work out as he was forced to switch sides to Aston Villa in the Premier League to revive his career.
Another La Masia graduate had to do the same thing as Romeu. Cesc Fabregas had left his hometown for Arsenal when he was just 16 years old. He then had a chance to move back to Barcelona in 2011. Yet, it could have not been materialized without the player’s own fund.
Barcelona and Arsenal’s talk were in a deadlock. The Catalan’s £36 million bid was rejected by the Gunners. They did not want to lower the price, which was set at £40 million. The versatile Spaniard finally agreed to pay off the remaining £4 million to complete the transfer. Unfortunately, he was sold to Chelsea in 2014 after his declining form in later seasons.
In 2013, the Brazilian defensive midfielder was so desperate to join Manchester City that he let go of £4 million to his former club, Shakhtar Donestk, owed to complete the £34 million transfer fee. It means the Cityzens ended up only paying £30 million. It was a switch the Brazilian would not forget as it transformed his average career into a memorable one, especially during Pep Guardiola’s reign when he was named the captain of City.
The former Arsenal and West Ham forward, Lucas Pérez made a shock decision by paying his own €500,000 (£440,000) transfer fee to go down a whole two divisions and rejoin his boyhood club, Deportivo La Coruña. Once a stunning force in Spanish football, La Coruna reached the UEFA Champions League semi-final back in the 2003/04 season.
However, in 2021 the club was relegated to the third tier of Spain’s football league system for the first time in almost 40 years. Perez left the La Liga side, Cadiz, to help them back to Segunda Division in 2022/23. Unfortunately, they did not succeed in gaining promotion.
The Croatian wingback also had to pay as much as €700,000 to seal a move from Eredivisie side Heerenveen to the Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich. Pranjic gladly did it for such opportunity. He had an average spell in Bavaria in the first two seasons but lost his spot in the lineup in 2011/12.
He eventually joined Sporting Lisbon when his contract expired at the end of the season. His career was only going downwards as he spent the rest of his playing years in a nomadic life from Celta Vigo, Panathinaikos and Slovenia side, Koper, before staying in Cyprus till he hung up his boots.