Manchester City’s involvement with Argentina goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli has almost become too confusing to follow. The former Estudiantes stopper joined City with no announcement from Uruguyan ‘middle man’ club Deportivo Maldonado (known for being a temporary home for players before they are sold to Europe) in July 2016.
Rulli was immediately loaned to La Liga side Real Sociedad, who had an obligation to then buy him in January 2017, handing City an easy profit.
City’s involvement in the 26-year-old’s future didn’t end there though, as it emerged they had a €14 million buy-back clause on him, in addition to ‘owning’ 30 per cent of his sporting rights. With third-party ownership illegal in football, the assumption is that translates to a 30 per cent sell-on clause.
A story today from Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo adds more details to this confusing saga that had seemed over and done with. While it had been reported that City’s option to buy Rulli expired last summer, it’s now claimed the option remains in place.
Furthermore, it is revealed that on top of the €7 million they paid City, Sociedad must also pay a further €1 million every year until 2021, each time acquiring 10 per cent more of his rights until they own 100 per cent of the player in 2021.
City are therefore still owed €3 million in three €1 million payments (2019, 2020, 2021) – but only if the player stays at the Estadio Anoeta – and it doesn’t look like he will.
Despite winning his first caps for Argentina this year, Rulli’s stock has fallen due to indifferent performances, and with Álex Remiro arriving from Athletic Bilbao next summer, Rulli is considered the odd man out and the idea is to sell him.
City could utilise their €14 million buy-back option and if they do, they have to inform Sociedad before April. That doesn’t seem likely, so the Spanish club will instead look for another buyer, and City would presumably net 30 per cent of the transfer fee… finally, FINALLY bringing to an end the Curious Case of Geronimo Rulli and Manchester City.