Manchester City’s deal loaning Angeliño to RB Leipzig has been completed with some interesting quirks.
Manchester City officially moved on from left-back Angeliño, with Pep Guardiola allowing him to return to German side RB Leipzig on loan for another season. The Spaniard was excellent as Leipzig reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, but was deemed surplus to requirements at the Etihad.
I personally disagree with the move given his impressive showing on loan during the second half of last year and the inconsistency of Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko, but with the deal done, it’s time to evaluate City’s business.
If Angeliño makes 12 appearances for Leipzig season, which barring a major injury seems all but a formality, it will trigger an automatic purchase clause of £16.3 million due to Manchester City. Five of these appearances must come in the second half of the season, but given that he was the club’s first-choice left-back in crucial Champions League games, this should not be an issue.
In addition, City will not receive any percentage of future sales assuming he does become a permanent Leipzig player. Perhaps the most interesting part of this deal, however, is that once again City have inserted a buy-back clause. City were able to pull a shrewd bit of business by exercising a similar clause of just over £5 million during Angeliño’s breakout season for PSV, but this time the price will be much steeper.
If City are to buy back the Spaniard, it will cost them £36.3 million, over double the fee they will receive. This is much closer to his actual valuation, in my opinion, as I believe he is a £25-30 million talent. Therefore, City have essentially put themselves in a lose-lose situation with this deal.
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If he remains at Leipzig and City do not bring him back, they have turned a cool £10 million profit based on their smart buy-back clause with PSV, but have sold a talented player at a difficult position for far below his value. If Angeliño continues his hot form and that £36 million fee becomes a realistic option for City, they have essentially admitted defeat and flushed £20 million down the drain when they could have simply kept the player.
Therefore, I do not believe this is a good deal from a Manchester City perspective. City need as many options as possible in such a troubled position, and if they were to sell Angeliño, it should have been done at market value. Even if Leipzig were able to keep their cut-rate price and low appearance requirement, City’s buy-back clause should have given them a good deal so that bringing him back would not come at a huge cost. I believe given the sweet deal Leipzig got in the short term, a reduced £20 million buy-back clause would have been more than reasonable.
The only way this deal makes sense is if it creates just enough free space so that City can finally match Napoli’s asking price and finally get a deal for Kalidou Koulibaly over the line. However, I believe this is not the case, and that City simply wanted to get a player Guardiola doesn’t rate off the books as quickly as possible while turning some profit, even if it’s far from a good deal.