Big Guns Eyeing £20m-Rated German Defender Amid Contract Dispute
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City are all hoping to take advantage of a contract dispute to land £20m-rated defender Jonathan Tah this summer.
The January transfer window may have slammed shut but clubs will still be working hard behind the scenes at identifying targets for the summer, so we’ll bring you all the latest news, gossip and rumours. Today, the Premier League big guns are linked with Jonathan Tah.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City are all hoping to take advantage of a contract dispute between Hamburg and Jonathan Tah to land the £20m-rated centre-back on the cheap this summer, according to the Daily Mail.
Tah has been with Hamburg since he was 13-years-old and has emerged as one of the most highly-rated defenders in the Bundesliga after breaking in to the first team set up this season.
The 17-year-old has impressed during his 15 appearances so far this campaign and with him now the Germany Under-17 captain, he’s hotly tipped to be a star in the senior squad in the future.
Understandably, Hamburg have been keen secure his long-term future and tie him down to professional terms as soon as possible, and they were relieved when they managed to get him to sign a three-year deal back on January 23, 2013.
However, it seems they may have over-stepped the mark when they persuaded him to pen a two-year extension in November 2013, which not only includes a £20.7m buy-out clause but also takes his contract up to 2018.
FIFA rules say that any player under 18 can only sign contracts for a maximum of three years and with Tah not 18 until next week, the extension he signed in November is in breach of the rules and shouldn’t be recognised by the governing body.
The player and his father are now ready to go to court to prove the two-year extension is invalid, with Aquilas Tah saying:
‘The contract is only in the interest of the HSV and the consultant and not in the interest of my son. I should never have him signed with them. I will go to court.
‘According to FIFA rules, the contract is invalid because it is more than three years. This is not allowed for a minor. I will make sure that Adewunmi has nothing to do with my son.’ Tah is quoted as saying by the Mail.
Adewunmi refers to the defenders agent, Akeem Adewunmi, and the representative has hit back insisting the player and his parents have signed the deal and the player is now tied to Hamburg until 2018.
‘The parents have signed, the boy has signed. Thus, the contract is valid. All this has its accuracy. Jonathan wants to stay until 2018 at HSV. Here people want to challenge something but there is nothing to challenge.’ Adewunmi is quoted as saying by the Mail.
It’s an intriguing situation and one that must surely be relatively easy to resolve. If the player signed a contract that ties him to a club for longer than three years, it’s invalid under FIFA law. Therefore, the extension Tah signed last November should be ripped up and his original deal that expires in 2016 remains active.
That would be good news for the Premier League big guns as the Daily Mail claim that Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City are all watching on with interest to see how this all unfolds and are ready to pounce if the ruling goes in the players favour.
Should Tah win his case, his buy-out clause would be removed and his contract would be up in 2016, which could force Hamburg to cash-in before his value starts to drop.
The newspaper suggests that Arsenal and United tried to snap up the player when he was 15 before Hamburg persuaded him to sign on with them, while Man City were linked with a £6m bid in recent weeks.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops over the coming months and I’m sure there will be a scramble for his signature if Tah is successful in having the extension removed, with all the English big-guns waiting in the wings.
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