Helder Costa signing for Leeds last summer was a bit of an eyebrow-raising move.
It was widely known that the Whites were struggling in terms of FFP as Pontus Jansson claimed that he was sold to Brentford in order to balance the books, so loaning a winger with an obligation to buy him for a reported fee of £15m in the summer was somewhat surprising.
However, it’s now been revealed that the actual fee that United will pay is actually £16m, and they won’t be paying that all at once.
Phil Hay has previously described Costa as a £16m winger, but with The Sun reporting that he will cost Leeds £15m it seemed as if there were conflicting reports on how much Costa will actually cost the Whites.
Fortunately, Tim Spiers has now cleared things up for us as he’s relayed what Hay has told him about the Costa fee and how it will be paid.
The Wolves journalist was talking about how deals can be structured, and he touched on Costa’s move to Leeds.
“They’ll spread the cost of deals over a number of years. For example, Helder Costa is off to Leeds at the end of the season, and that’s an obligation to buy for Leeds,” Spiers said on The Molineux View (28/1/20 12:00).
“That’ll be done, as per information from my Athletic colleague Phil Hay who covers Leeds, that’s going to be £4m a year that Leeds will pay over a four-year period for a total of £16m.
“It just makes financial sense to do that to balance the books, spread the cost so you’ve got a higher transfer budget and more money to play with.”
With Leeds still struggling with FFP the fact that they can spread the cost of signing Costa can be spread over four years will be a massive help.
Leeds may have a bit of a rebuilding job on their hands at the end of the season as Hay has predicted a mass exodus if they don’t go up, and the more money they have to bring in replacements the better.
Yes, they’ll still have to outlay the £16m, but it allows them to have an extra £11m next summer compared to if they’d paid it all at once.
It’s a canny business move from Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani, and they should be commended for it.