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Musacchio transfer complicated by triple co-ownership

This is what happens when a small handful of teams and leagues are dominant and smaller clubs try to keep pace.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

Negotiating transfers with Premier League clubs is very easy. One club's chairman talks to another club's chairman and agrees to a fee for a player. Once a fee is agreed, the buying club can talk to the player and agree on personal terms. If the player agrees, the transfer goes through. The buying club gives the selling club money and it's over. This is not how most of the footballing world works today.

In order to compete for Champions League places in La Liga, clubs like Villarreal have to do some financial gymnastics to attract top players, like central defender Mateo Musacchio. Villarreal own his playing rights, but only 35 percent of his economic rights. Another 35 percent is owned by River Plate, while his agent owns 30 percent, according to the Daily Mail. This means that if Tottenham Hotspur sign Musacchio for the rumored price of £17m, Villarreal get just under £6m of that, which isn't a whole lot to go get a replacement with -- unless they want to go down this route again.

This is complicating transfer negotiations considerably. £17m is about fair market value for a player of Musacchio's age, experience and perceived talent, but it doesn't leave Villarreal much money to get a replacement, so they're trying to figure out how to get more money, either out of Tottenham or from obtaining more of the player's rights. They're apparently in a battle with River over this.

The Musacchio transfer is even more of a CF than the Joao Moutinho one a couple of years ago. The good news is we're starting a little earlier on this one. Hopefully this mess gets sorted out by September 1.