Hitting a near-$40 million buyout for a 28-year-old attacker would receive a little more incredulity in previous summers, before superstar prices were being paid for mere star players. Even if the player had scored 24 times in the previous La Liga season, the huge price tag would receive a few furrowed brows.
But in the current climate, paying that fee to spring Roberto Soldado from Valencia doesn’t seem so ludicrous. If Manchester City came to a $30 million agreement with a cooperative seller for Álvaro Negredo, paying a premium to hit a somewhat equivalent talent’s buyout seems more ill-advised than ludicrous. Besides, who’s to say cash poor Valencia won’t settle for a few million less than the outright release clause.
According to the latest reports, Miroslav Djukic might be the one saying that. The Valencia coach, speaking to Spanish press, had this to say when asked about whether his top scorer’s buy-out would be triggered:
“I don’t think so. I think he will continue with us, but nobody can guarantee anything.
“In football as in life, you need to be ready for everything.
“We all want him to stay and we think that he’s going to remain but someone could always come in and pay the buy-out clause. That’s the danger. For now he’s our player and we count on him.”
“From the start we’ve said that Soldado isn’t for sale and that the only way he could go is that someone comes in, pays the clause and the player accepts to go.”
Those won’t be the most reassuring words for fans of Los Che, but considering the team most readily linked with Soldado has been Tottenham Hotspur, there’s reason to hope the Spanish international will stay at the Mestalla. Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy isn’t known for his ill-advised spending, so if the market for mid-to-late-20s players who scores mid-20s goals in La Liga is around the $30 million City paid for Negredo, you’re unlikely to see Tottenham pay 33 percent more for Soldado. As last January’s window showed, Spurs aren’t afraid to push forward with question marks at striker.
If Valencia are intent on holding Soldado to that release clause, he’ll likely be in Valencia when the season starts. If, however, they’re willing to see the Negredo sale as a comparable, there may be some room to strike a deal.