Liverpool have signed 16-year-old Harvey Elliott from Fulham, with the player making a brief but promising appearance against Napoli on Sunday, but this isn’t a transfer tale that’s over just yet as Liverpool and Fulham were unable to agree a fee.
As a youth player who changed clubs within the same federation while out of contract, his fee will now be set by tribunal, and The Evening Standard say that Fulham are convinced that fee could exceed £10M and include a sell-on clause.
Liverpool, on the other hand, expect a fee in the region of the one a tribunal set when they signed Danny Ings from Burnley, a base £6.5M plus appearance-based add-ons and a 20% sell-on fee—or £4M of the fee Southampton eventually paid.
Given Ings was older and more proven, a similar—or even higher—fee for the highly regarded Elliott might seem high, but with transfer inflation taken into account it perhaps shouldn’t be surprising that’s the territory being talked about.
When out of contract young players switch clubs, the club that trained them is owed training compensation. If they change federations, the fee is set by UEFA tribunal and often amounts to a few hundred thousand pounds.
However, the English FA has always taken into account market value and not just the actual money invested in training a young player, and so when players move from one English club to another the tribunal fees have historically been much higher.
Clubs have the option of agreeing a fee between themselves and avoiding having a case go to tribunal, though with higher value prospects it is not unusual for the sides to disagree on valuation.