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Why on Earth would Chelsea forgo the €10m buyback option on Jérémie Boga?

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Sassuolo’s strange request

US Sassuolo v Parma Calcio - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Earlier this week, reports emerged of an impending meeting between Chelsea and Sassulo regarding the future of one Jérémie Boga, with the former Chelsea Academy standout’s buyback clause specifically set to be a topic of discussion. This meeting was a follow-up to previous talks between the clubs from before the winter transfer window.

The assumption was that the two teams were meeting about the Blues potentially exercising said buyback clause (apparently set at just €10m!), and adding the 23-year-old dribble-happy one back into the fold at Stamford Bridge.

But if the latest reports are to be believed, the situation is a fair bit more complicated than that.

According to Gianluca Di Marzio and a few others, Sassuolo aren’t just hoping that Chelsea don’t exercise the clause. They want Chelsea to annul the clause, which would in turn let Sassuolo ‘control the future destiny’ of Boga — i.e. sell him for a much higher fee to Napoli.

But as much as it would warm our hearts to stick one to Aurelio De Laurentiis, removing the buyback would make zero sense for Chelsea. And as much as Sassuolo might be angling to set themselves up as some sort of Italian Vitesse, we’re not running a charity here.

Chelsea have three options, as I see it, none of which are served by removing the buyback option.

  1. We buy Boga back ourselves: €10m more than well spent.
  2. We do nothing: status quo maintained, can still buy back later.
  3. We buy Boga back and sell him to Napoli: profit!

The idea that we could replace the buyback with a sell-on clause has been suggested in some reports as well, but only a very high sell-on percentage would see us come out ahead of actually doing the business ourselves (net profit: transfer fee less €10m). We would need a 50 per cent sell-on at €20m, or a 66 per cent sell-on at €30m, to break even for example.

Even if Chelsea are completely uninterested in bringing back Boga (and/or vice versa), just as a business proposition, it would make no sense to undo the good work done by negotiating a buyback clause in the first place.

So ... let’s not, shall we?