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A Pricing Comparison: Kaka Vs. Javier Pastore

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 17: Kaka of Real Madrid attends the launch of the new adidas Predator boot at the Truman Brewery on May 17, 2011 in London, England  (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 17: Kaka of Real Madrid attends the launch of the new adidas Predator boot at the Truman Brewery on May 17, 2011 in London, England (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
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I'm going to make some assumptions in this post, and I'd like to make them clear from the outset.

  1. Figures reported by the media for transfer costs and salaries are accurate.
  2. Kaka will not accept a pay cut of more than 20%. This is arbitrary, so if you have a better figure, by all means let me know. The idea that he'll leave much more than that on the table strikes me as a little bit bizarre, however. People aren't generally inclined to simply give up millions of euros without other compensation.
  3. I'm using 0.87 euros to the pound, the rough exchange rate as of time of posting.

As we're all well aware, a transfer fee does not include the full cost of a player. Any glance at a club's books will show you the impact of wages on their finances, and ignoring said wages is immensely foolish. So, when looking at the cost per year of a player, we should spread out their transfer fee over their career with the team and add that figure to their yearly salary. Let's do that exercise with, say, Javier Pastore and Kaka.

Javier Pastore (PSG)

Transfer fee: €43M (£37.4M).
Wages: €4.5M/yr (£3.9M).
Contract Length: Four years.

Pastore, of course, was overpriced at €43M from Palermo, which is presumably why he will not be calling Chelsea home over the next few years. It's disappointing, but good on the Blues for making an economically rational decision after the Fernando Torres fiasco. Anyway, let's look at his true cost to Paris Saint-Germain. £37.4M for the transfer fee means £9.4M per season plus £3.9M in wages every year, which gives us...

£13.3M per year.

Kaka (Chelsea, Possibly)

Transfer fee: £25M
Wages: £6.9M.yr*
Contract length: Four years.

*Wages are 10M a year at Madrid, with four years left on deal. This assumes a 20% pay cut and no shortening of contract, which he'd never, ever sign.

Pretty easy here. £25M over four years is £6.3M a year plus his projected wages at £6.9M for a grand total of...

£13.2M per year

So, yeah. Pastore might be stupid money, but Kaka at £25M probably isn't any smarter. And that's not even going into Pastore's resale/resign value, which either recoups some of the cost or allows you to spread out the transfer fee even further in terms of looking at overall cost per year. At 29, Kaka doesn't offer you that. In other words, the two have the same actual price tag affixed, but only Pastore allows a team to mitigate any of that expense.

Honestly, no matter how good Kaka once was, he's too old, too expensive, and too injury prone for the price for him to come to Chelsea to make any sense. Pastore is very likely to be better than a healthy Kaka within two years anyway, so in order for the deal to be good for the Blues Real Madrid would have to accept a transfer fee of... what, £10M? That's not on the table, so any deal for Kaka to come to Stamford Bridge shouldn't be either.