Football Manager 2020 has hit the shelves and with that comes a new wave of shrewd managers on the prowl for the best deals.
To truly survive and thrive in the virtual dugout, an economical approach is often required and that can come in many forms.
From payment instalments to free transfers and loan buys, there’s more than one way to be thrifty in the market; the savviest of us will often seek these bargain deals and hidden gems, while there are some who simply can’t help but let the chequebook do the talking.
But, for those of us who don’t want to suffocate the transfer budget, one approach that often proves fruitful during the window is to scour the market for players who have a buyout clause in their contracts.
Most take up residence in La Liga but dig a little deeper and you will come across a number of players with release clauses just waiting to be triggered.
With that, we’ve compiled 10 of the most lucrative release clauses that you must activate on Football Manager this year.
1. Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur)
Release clause fee: £25m
If you wait until January, the Belgian centre-back can enter negotiations and sign a pre-contract with foreign clubs, as he is in the final year of his Spurs contract, but if you can’t hold out until the following summer to get your hands on Alderweireld, then his services will knock you back by £25m which, in all fairness, is an absolute snip in today’s market.
2. Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma)
Release clause fee: £26m
The versatile Italy international would make an excellent addition to any side, with his box-to-box exploits offering plenty of energy and zeal in the middle of the park. Considering he’s only 23, his modest £26m release clause looks an absolute steal.
3. Pedrinho (Corinthians)
Release clause fee: £7.5m
From Deco to Marquinhos, some of the game’s greatest players have emerged from Corinthians’ esteemed conveyor belt, and Pedrinho could be the next in line. At just 21, he has already made over 100 appearances for Timao and could be snapped up for less than £10m – surely worth a punt?
4. Exequiel Palacios (River Plate)
Release clause fee: £13m
The elegant Argentine midfielder has helped guide River Plate to successive Copa Libertadores finals, and he will look to retain the South American title when his side collide with Brazilian giants Flamengo on Saturday. His performances have naturally alerted some of Europe’s top clubs, including Real Madrid, so act fast.
5. Ever Banega (Sevilla)
Release clause fee: £17.25m
Banega may now be 31, but to sign a midfield titan of his unwavering ability for less than £20m is surely a must. The Rosario-born playmaker possesses an abundance of versatility, so can slot into numerous roles across the midfield area, while his experience could prove invaluable to the development of younger players.
6. Daniel Parejo (Valencia)
Release clause fee: £43m
This one may not quite seem the astute piece of business you were hoping for, but the former Real Madrid midfielder is currently valued at £40.5m, so to sign him essentially at face value would certainly prove solid transfer activity. The Spain international is one of the most complete central midfielders across Europe and could bring a new tempo-setting dimension to your side – a hefty fee certainly, but it may pay off!
7. Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray)
Release clause fee: £8.5m
Feghouli didn’t exactly set the world alight during his brief stint at West Ham, but he certainly has all the tools to make it as a top-level performer. Under the right tutelage, the incisive winger could go from lightweight to lethal and for less than £10m, he won’t break the bank.
8. Franco Vazquez (Sevilla)
Release clause fee: £21.5m
Anyone who has drawn comparisons with Juan Roman Riquelme, Alessandro Del Piero and Roberto Baggio must surely be worst investing in. The thrice-capped Argentina international has been a consistent performer for Sevilla over the years and can be prised away from the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium for a moderate circa £20m fee.
9. Alan Kardec (Chongqing Lifan)
Release clause fee: £7.75m
Heading to East Asia now and Kardec is up for grabs for just £7.75m. Considering his current value is over double that at £18.75m, this release clause is one that should definitely be looked at. He’s had a previous stint at Benfica but failed to make the grade there and is now lighting up the show in China. Under your guidance, he could yet fulfil his European promise.
10. Sergio Escudero (Sevilla)
Release clause fee: £13m
Coming in at number 10 is, fittingly, another Sevilla player – the third one on our list – with left-back Escudero on the menu for just over £10m. Los Nervionenses currently have Sergio Reguilon on loan from Real Madrid, meaning third captain Escudero has dropped down the pecking order but he would make a fine addition at any middling club – or a very capable back-up option at least.