For around 24 hours it looked as if a world star could soon appear in the old forester’s shop. But shortly before the deadline, the signing of the Spaniard Isco by Union Berlin fell through. What went wrong?
It should be the transfer coup of the winter. Five-time Champions League winner Isco was about to sign a contract with Union Berlin on Tuesday. The midfielder, who is currently without a contract, had already successfully completed the medical check-up when the final negotiations ended a little later.
The parties involved, i.e. Union Berlin and the agency Gestifute, limited their statements to generalities. “We had to realize that the things we had previously discussed were different on the part of the player agency,” said sports director Oliver Ruhnert in the evening sky. “Before you carry out a medical check, everything has been discussed and it was clear to us. Then changes to the contract were requested again.”
Gestifute in turn gave opposite picture made the following statement: “During the course of the talks, we realized that our negotiating partner was no longer willing to move within the framework originally discussed.”
Union Berlin: Sheraldo Becker stays, Isco doesn’t
The statements only partially explain what went wrong. What is certain is that both parties had already negotiated the content of the contract on Monday. In the evening Isco landed in a private plane in the German capital in order to complete the obligatory medical check-up at the Charité the following morning. Up until then everything had gone according to plan.
However, during the final negotiations, differences of opinion arose, which finally led to the break-up. According to information from SPOX and GOAL got Isco’s side feeling Union wanted to complicate the signing. Isco received no assurance from the Bundesliga side that he would be called up for the knockout phase of the Europa League because Urs Fischer’s squad was already full.
Over the past few days, some media have reported that attacker Sheraldo Becker could possibly join Everton in January. However, this transfer did not materialize. Although Isco is actually at home in attacking midfield, Becker’s departure would have opened up a place in Union’s main formation – provided Isco had quickly achieved the necessary game fitness.
Isco and Union Berlin: Alleged misunderstandings about salary
There were also rumors of communication errors between Union and Isco’s advisors. Accordingly, there would have been a misunderstanding about the amount of the basic salary. What Union Isco is said to have offered for the entire contract period of six months would have been the amount of the monthly salary in the player’s eyes. In the end, there were significant financial discrepancies.
Union Berlin contradicted this when asked on Tuesday evening and explained that the differences between what was agreed on Monday and what was discussed on Tuesday were “about other clauses in the contract”.
Union Berlin remains unaffected
No one will, of course, take responsibility for the debacle. However, the effects of the failed deal are quite different. Union Berlin will contest the second half of the season with an intact squad and immediately made a name for itself in the evening with a 2-1 win against in-form Wolfsburg in the DFB Cup.
Isco, however, is still without a club. The recent performances of the 30-year-old midfielder in the service of Sevilla FC and the termination of his contract in December have further damaged the already tarnished reputation of the former Real Madrid star.
It was heard from the player’s environment that his advisors were looking for another employer for their client immediately after the end of negotiations with Union Berlin. However, Isco will not be accommodated in the Bundesliga, because the deadline on Tuesday evening also applied to the registration of non-club players.
Image damage for Mendes agency?
Meanwhile, Gestifute, which is managed by the internationally renowned consultant Jorge Mendes, wants to avert image damage. The Portuguese was able to bag some top-class deals again in the past few days and weeks. Among other things, he signed Cristiano Ronaldo to Al-Nassr FC for huge sums and guided João Cancelo to Bayern Munich after his quarrel with Pep Guardiola.
Meanwhile, employees of Mendes were commissioned with Isco, who unsurprisingly left the negotiation rooms in Berlin on Tuesday afternoon. For them, the search continues to find a new club for the 2012 Golden Boy Award winner after all.