It will come as a real shock to many football fans that a experienced 25-year-old England international could be available to sign for as little as £8m. But that is the case with Aston Villa man Fabian Delph, who has a remarkable release clause in his Villa Park contract.
Delph signed a new four-and-a-half-year deal in January, at the time as his deal was running out at the end of the season, and Villa were genuinely worried about a free transfer.
But this surprisingly low release clause – which only applies to teams in European competition – in the deal has alerted interested clubs such as Manchester City, and possibly long-term admirers Manchester United, who could now to step up their interest in the Three Lions regular.
It is thought that Delph agreed a compromise with Villa chairman Randy Lerner to insert a cheap buy-out clause, just in case Villa were relegated – which was a possibility at the time.
There will be a lot of teams interested in Delph for such a price. Especially as over the last two seasons the improvement in Delph’s game has been massive.
It does look like quite a strange deal for Villa to make for a player who is a prized asset, but former Villa striker Tony Cascarino said he understands why it has happened in an interview with Sky Sports.
“The circumstances why Delph has a contract that has a release clause is he was nearly at the end of his previous contract.
“We’re at a stage where literally players have a blank sheet of paper and clubs say fill in the blanks and tell us what you want.
“Players have got so much power in the modern game.
“Villa tried to broker a deal where they will get something. I feel sorry for the club, it’s the way the modern game is.”
It is true that is the way that the modern game is going, and in the modern day a player of Delph’s quality for as little as £8m could be a really great bit of business for a Premier League club competing in European competition.
He is a good Premier League player, has a great engine, is strong in a tackle and possesses all the qualities that are needed for the modern day athletic box-to-box midfielder. And for Manchester City specifically the signing of Delph could give Yaya Toure the cover he needs to flourish once more.
The fact that Delph has a lot of quality and is available for such a cheap fee tells you that it will be very difficult for Aston Villa to keep him this summer, and it does look very likely that the former Leeds man will move on considering the situation Villa are in.