As Dele Alli makes his way back to the football pitch, recovering from both injury and off-field issues, his current and former clubs have been in negotiation around the structure of his transfer fee. For those not in the know, Dele transferred from Tottenham Hotspur to Everton in an unusually structured deal, in which the ex-England midfielder went for free unless he made 20 appearances, which in turn would trigger a £10 million payment.
Unfortunately for Everton (and by association, Dele), the Toffees are under huge financial pressure due to ownership problems, association with Russia, and poor investments, and they’re under even more of a microscope after being charged with breaches of Financial Fair Play and deducted ten points. With that in mind, they’re not necessarily inclined to allow Dele to reach that 20-appearance mark, with any ease of financial burden a boon. These are the conditions under which the Merseyside club have revisited the negotiation table, with Tom Allnutt of The Times reporting there have been some new developments in the talks (paywall).
Allnutt reports that Spurs have made a proposal whereby the payment would be reduced to £8 million, with a reduced number of appearances required for the fee to be due. Everton have rejected this, and appear to be more focused on the structure of the payment: the current deal structure requires the £10 million to be paid as a lump sum up front once the appearance clause has been reached, whereas Everton would prefer to pay in installments (which would also make the number crunchers at the FA happy).
There’s probably a win-win-win here for all parties from which the clubs aren’t far: Dele gets back on the pitch, Spurs get paid, and Everton pay a potentially slightly smaller fee in a manner that makes more sense for their books. Whatever happens, we likely haven’t heard the last of this saga.