A few sites have started to pick up on the rumours that Everton’s Marouane Fellaini has a £22m buyout clause in his contract.
Naturally the club themselves have refused to comment on the story, insisting that they will not public discuss an individual player’s situation.
So if Everton didn’t leak this story to the press, and the player didn’t, then who does that leave?
If there is such a condition in the Belgian’s agreement, and he is keen on moving elsewhere at the end of the season, then it suits him for it to become public knowledge. It’s the football equivalent of dropping a pint of blood into shark infested waters.
At a guess, a member of Fellaini’s representative team probably had a quiet word with a journalist and instructed him or her to make sure that £22m figure appeared in the public domain. All of a sudden, not only have all the major clubs in Europe become aware of what it will take to buy Fellaini out of his Everton contract, but so do all the third-party agents and transfer ‘fixers’ across the continent.
That’s how it works: before too long, rival managers will be asked directly about Fellaini in press conferences and that release clause will be a frequent reference point in the gossip columns.