Chelsea FC may face a tax related stumbling block if they make the move to sign Atletico Madrid leftback Filipe Luis due to a technicality in Spain. Reports from The Daily Star suggest that the original £24.5 million release clause in Luis’s contract may go up to £37 million due to a “complication in the Spanish tax system”.
Filipe Luis has supposedly been made the target as the player to replace the recently departed Ashley Cole at left back but this extra fee may complicate matters. Paying £24 million for a 28 year old left back who may or may not be world class is one thing, but paying £37 million is a completely different story. In today’s market, a world class striker can be had for a sum that large, not a left back that has at best 4-5 years left at the top of his game.
Luis had a tremendous season for Ateltico Madrid but was overlooked for the Brazilian national team’s World Cup squad. He is relatively new to the big international stage but he may simply be the “flavor of the month” rather than a true star after helping Atletico win the La Liga title. He has won his fair share of titles with the Madrid club but there are doubts as to whether or not he can fill Ashley Cole’s shoes.
Signing Filipe Luis would also be a strange move considering the club’s supposed shift to focusing on its youth. Chelsea has several prospects at left back including Ryan Bertrand, Patrick Van Aanholt, and Nathan Ake who is a centerback but is very capable at fullback. The Blues also have Cesar Azpilicueta at the position who was tremendous last season and was voted as Chelsea’s player of the year by his teammates.
If Luis truly is the man that Chelsea brings in then hopefully the fee will not be inflated by any tax issues and that the tax is simply incorporated in to the original transfer fee.
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