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Ranked! The 5 biggest release clauses ever

Ansu Fati
(Image credit: Getty)

In Spain, transfers are a little different, with the release clause reigning supreme. You see, you don't sign a player directly from the club you're buying from - you go via the LaLiga headquarters themselves to do the deal.

Every player in Spain has a release clause, allowing any club to sign anyone for a designated amount. It's not exclusively a Spanish thing either: sometimes, you know exactly how much you want for a star and can name your price.

So some clubs lift release clauses to astronomical levels, just to ward off suitors. You may remember, however, that this came back to bite Barcelona - of course it was them - when PSG actually triggered Neymar's eye-watering €200m release.

Since then, the clauses have only increased. 

=5. Brahim Diaz - €750m

Brahim Diaz AC Milan midfielder

(Image credit: PA)

OK, so a surprising start to the list.

Brahim Diaz was let go from Manchester City originally, joining Real Madrid in 2019. He didn't set the world alight at the Bernabeu and was shifted out to AC Milan on loan to develop a little. 

It's perhaps safe to say that if you made a reasonable bid for the winger, Real would consider it. 

=5. Luka Modric - €750m

No one is really likely to pay anything close to this for Luka Modric anymore but the inflated release clause certainly shows how valuable the little genius has been to Real Madrid for years.

The former Ballon d'Or winner is well into his mid-30s now and will probably leave Real of his own accord. But at least with this release clause, Los Blancos could fend off interest from elsewhere at his peak. 

=5. Federico Valverde - €750m 

Federico Valverde

(Image credit: PA)

A sensible use of a silly release clause, here.

Fede Valverde is one of Real Madrid's most valuable assets as a complete midfielder approaching his prime. So tying him down to an €750m buy-out means that no one else can feasibly tempt him with a better deal elsewhere without putting in a stupid bid for him. 

Adored in Madrid, it doesn't look like he'll ever leave at this rate. 

2. Antoine Griezmann - €800m

Strictly speaking, he's still a Barcelona player, given that it's a loan with obligation to Atletico Madrid. 

Antoine Griezmann does, however, demonstrate why a big release clause means very little if a player is misfiring. The World Cup winner cost Barcelona over £100m and they're going to lose him for less than half of that, with a measly goal return from him.

=1. Karim Benzema - €1bn

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema

(Image credit: Getty)

It seems very unlikely now that Karim Benzema will leave Real Madrid for a better offer elsewhere. The release clause merely ensures that. 

There was a time that Big Benz was linked with Arsenal, so tying the forward down to a billion-Euro release clause means that realistically, he's not for sale unless Real decide. He's been fantastic value for money since joining from Lyon, too. 

=1. Ansu Fati - €1bn

Reckon this will keep PSG at bay? 

The Fati release clause is symbolic as much as anything else but with Barcelona securing their new no.10, attention now moves to making sure Pedri can't leave for free in the summer. And one wonders how much his clause will be...

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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.