Reports claim that Chelsea have a "first option" on Isco, but why care?

Denis Doyle

Silly season! Yay!

We all knew this was coming. Chelsea were linked to a Malaga player earlier in the window, when reports came out that Isco had a reasonable buyout that the club might be willing to meet. Malaga got themselves in some trouble with UEFA, limiting their spending power going forward. Chelsea then loaned a promising youngster to the Spanish squad for the remainder of the 2012/13 season.

It was inevitable that all of these stories would end up being linked together by the media, and today it appears they have. The London Evening Standard is among several outlets reporting that the Piazon deal and Isco deal are linked, telling us the following:

It is believed that as part of that deal, Malaga agreed in principle to Chelsea having first refusal on Isco.

I have my doubts that there is any truth to this, as I've yet to see anything on the matter from either club or a reporter that I'd actually trust. This is possible I suppose, as Malaga would certainly have the right to tell Chelsea that they'd give them a call if they receive an acceptable offer for Isco, but for all reasonable purposes, this would mean absolutely nothing even if it isn't total garbage.

The issue here is that Isco has a very reasonable buyout, something that should not prove to be an issue at all if one of the bigger clubs in Europe decide to come calling. Should a club decide to meet that figure, Chelsea having a "first option" on the player would mean absolutely nothing, as Malaga would be obligated to allow the player to talk to that other club anyway.

Most likely, the loan of Piazon had absolutely nothing to do with Isco. If Chelsea are interested, there's a fair chance they've asked Malaga to let them know if they are going to sell. In the end though, any team signing Isco is likely going to need to activate that buyout, and nothing about that buyout changes by loaning Lucas Piazon to Malaga. This would seem to be one of those situations where the folks writing these stories need a new calculator, as 1+1 does not actually equal 3.


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