Breaking down the Danilo deal

Real Madrid announced last Wednesday that they had signed Porto right-back Danilo for €31.5m, with the Brazilian international set to link up with Los Blancos this summer. However, it has since been revealed that the final price the Spanish giants will have to pay for the player has shot up to €39.3m when various add-ons are considered. So where have the extra payments come from and who got the best of the deal?  

According to former Madrid right-back Carlos Secretario, who trod the same path to Santiago Bernabeu in 1996 but returned to Porto just 18 months later, both clubs are the winners. "I read that Gerard Pique said defenders should be properly valued. Therefore, Danilo is worth every penny Real Madrid paid for him. We’re talking of a 23-year-old who has the potential to improve even more and is a regular fixture with the Brazil national team. I think Porto did great business, but so did Madrid,” maintained the 44-year-old.

The €31.5m originally quoted as being paid for the player was assumed to be the going rate for someone who has all the attributes to become a world class footballer, yet the news that the fee will now be just short of €40m has certainly raised a few eyebrows.

Portuguese publication O Jogo reports that the 23-year-old’s former club Santos will receive €1.8m, which is 10% of the €18m difference between what Porto paid for him in 2011 and the €31.5m Madrid will shell out – a clause written into the agreement when Danilo signed.

Madrid will also have to pay €4m in commission to three representatives [or intermediaries as they are now known] who mediated on their behalf, while 5% of the €31.5m is added as the cost of the player’s development. The latter figure is to be spread between Porto, Santos and America Mineiro, where Danilo began his career, although the Portuguese club have waived their percentage.

There is also a €500,000 insurance fee in case he is injured between now and the end of the season, with his club having reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League and still needing to play eight more League games.

Assuming the wage Danilo will receive at the Bernabeu is more than was allegedly offered by Barcelona, who were also desperate to secure his signature, Madrid on the face of it have paid a fortune for a player who has only shone since Julen Lopetegui took over the reins at the Estadio do Dragao last Summer. The avalanche of praise since heaped on Porto President Pinto da Costa by the country’s Press for conducting the sale appears to confirm this.

Added to that, Danilo is out of contract in June 2016 and could have been signed at zero cost from next January, echoing the case of Toni Kroos when Madrid negotiated his move from Bayern Munich after he had just become a world champion.

Barca were understood to have proposed paying Porto €25m for Danilo plus a discount on the purchase option of Cristian Tello, who is on a two-year loan there from the Catalans.  However, the player plumped for Madrid as La Blaugrana’s transfer ban would have meant him sitting out Porto’s Champions League group games in the first part of next season in order to be registered for the competition with Luis Enrique’s team in January 2016, when the ban is lifted.

The Dragons are no strangers to this type of deal and have been obliged to sell players season after season in order to survive, with an incredible €715m – including Danilo’s transfer – entering their coffers since winning the Champions League under Jose Mourinho in 2004. Not for nothing have they earned the reputation as the football factory for some of Europe’s top clubs, although much of the money received has gone to third party owners and agents.

Whoever is the main beneficiary of the Danilo-Real Madrid arrangement only time will tell, as in all major transfers between big clubs. Even so, one cannot help get the feeling that the cost of a player that will have to dislodge Spain right-back Dani Carvajal from Carlo Ancelotti’s starting line-up is one that may have been over-inflated.