Chelsea’s buy-back clause for former Academy standout Jérémie Boga has been one of the more hotly debated transfer stories of the past few months, with the 23-year-old turning heads in Serie A and making that €10-15m option on the initial £3.5m sale a probable bargain, even in this pandemic economy.
But for some reason, Chelsea were never too enticed by this opportunity — be that to bring back Boga, or to sell him on to one of the many interested parties in Italy (which he himself seems to prefer) — and according to reports today, that un-intention has been made official with the removal of the buy-back clause.
The two teams have apparently struck an agreement to have Sassuolo buy-out the buy-back, leaving Chelsea with a right of first refusal, i.e. the option to match any bid Sassuolo accept in the future. It’s unclear if any new sell-on percentage has been negotiated, as rumored before.
There is no word on how much this buy-out from Sassuolo might be. Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella reports it as a “small fee” commensurate with the “positive relationship” between the two clubs. Transfer Oracle Gianluca Di Marzio seems to hint that it’s at least bigger than €8m, which he has down as the original buy-back option (rather than the €15m usually reported). So it’s probably in the €10m region, which isn’t fantastic, but it’s better than some small sell-on for a player who could command fees in the €30m range (this summer or next).
Assuming that sort of price, Chelsea could’ve maximized our profit by buying back and flipping Boga to the next suitor ourselves, but collecting a non-zero profit for zero work isn’t terrible.
Now we can only hope Chelsea have made the right decision here. This surge of interest in Boga isn’t unreasonable and Chelsea will be in need of new wingers quite soon with both Pedro and Willian set to leave at the end of the season. If this does come back to bite us in the future, we won’t be able to we were not forewarned.