This summer, European clubs continued to “rob” Shakhtar Donetsk, taking advantage of the notorious FIFA Annexe 7, an amendment to transfer rules introduced after the start of the full-scale phase of the Russian-Ukrainian war and extended several times since then. This loophole actually allows clubs interested in foreign players from the Ukrainian Premier League to sign players without paying compensation – on a temporary basis, but without agreement with the club that owns the transfer rights to the player and does not provide for an automatic extension of the performer’s contract for a period similar to the temporary agreement.
One of the most high-profile transfers made under FIFA Annexe 7 was the departure of right winger Tete from Shakhtar to Galatasaray, who in August signed a full four-year contract with the Turkish football giant, which includes an option to extend for another season. At the time of this deal, the Brazilian was Shakhtar’s most valuable player, according to Transfermarkt data. The portal’s experts valued Tete at 25 million euros, and such an amount would allow the miners to more than compensate for all the costs incurred in terms of cooperation with the Brazilian, including returning the 15 million euros paid to Gremio in February 2019 as compensation during transfer.
But the leaders of Galatasaray took a clear and tough position – the Istanbul club will not make any payments to Shakhtar under Tete, even despite the miners’ appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Lions President Dursun Ozbek, commenting on information from the media regarding the legal nuances surrounding Tete’s transfer, categorically stated: “Tete’s transfer is legal! If this were not the case, the Turkish Football Federation would not allow him to play.”
In fact, Galatasaray, despite opposition from Shakhtar, actually managed to obtain a transfer certificate under Tete, which allowed the Istanbul team to declare the winger to participate in both domestic tournaments and the Champions League. However, apparently, this circumstance did not bring much joy to the management and fans of the “Lions”. This is because Tete has scored only 1 goal and 2 assists in 16 official matches for Galatasaray so far in the 2023/24 season. 3 effective actions in 764 minutes spent on the field are clearly not the dividends that the Turkish giants were counting on.
The fact is that in the summer of this year, 24-year-old Italian Nicolo Zaniolo, a midfielder who was somehow carried into the Turkish Super League at the beginning of the year, and who managed to prove himself in the second part of the last season, left Galatasaray for Aston Villa. in the “Lions” camp from the best side. In particular, in the 2022/23 Turkish Championship, Zaniolo managed to score 5 goals in 10 matches, which significantly helped Galatasaray in the fight for the championship, which the Lions eventually successfully celebrated.
Zaniolo reasonably did not want to stay in Turkey in the future, especially against the backdrop of serious interest in his person, which was observed during the summer transfer window. As a result, Nicolo was rented by Aston Villa for one season, with a buyout obligation for 20+7 million euros, which will be activated upon fulfillment of a number of conditions agreed upon by the clubs in advance.
It was as a replacement for Zaniolo that the management of Galatasaray signed Tete to the Istanbul club. The Brazilian was called upon to quickly join the ranks of the team, become one of the key players in the attack, and also take on the role and functions of a scorer. However, the ex-Shakhtar winger in Turkey has not yet managed to cope with all this. In the 10 matches played in the Super League that Tete has played so far, the Brazilian is clearly inferior to Zaniolo in key performance indicators – in particular, the ex-Shakhtar winger has only 1 assist and a “steering wheel” in the goals scored column, although his average match expected goals (xG) is 0.31…
The fact that Shakhtar continues to fight for the right to receive real financial compensation for Tete’s departure does not add optimism to the management and fans of Galatasaray. In particular, various details of the Pitmen’s dispute with the Lions over the Brazilian appear in the media every now and then, and some of them are, to put it mildly, scandalous in nature.
In particular, Fotospor reported in September that Tete and his agent Pablo Bueno falsified documents necessary to ensure the Brazilian’s transfer to Galatasaray according to FIFA Annexe 7 rules. The player and his representative assured that they notified Shakhtar in advance, as expected, of their desire to take advantage of this “loophole” for the 2023/24 season. Moreover, Tete allegedly did this via email, but the Brazilian was unable to provide convincing evidence, which, coupled with Shakhtar’s denial of such information, led to the start of an investigation by FIFA.
In October, the same source – Turkish Fotospor – reported another shocking news for Galatasaray about Tete. Allegedly, the Brazilian, before his move to Lyon, which happened in March last year and also took place according to FIFA Annexe 7, signed a new agreement with the Pitmen so that the Donetsk club would pay him part of his salary, since the Taverns would take on an obligation They categorically refused to satisfy the Brazilian’s financial appetites in full. This circumstance should impose certain obligations on Tete – in particular, when extending the validity of FIFA Annexe 7, it was noted that only those foreign players of Ukrainian clubs who did not sign new labor agreements after March 7, 2022 have the right to use it. How to evaluate in this case Tete’s agreement with Shakhtar on March 31 of last year, and whether it actually took place – a question to which a definite answer has not yet been given either by the Donetsk or Istanbul clubs…
But Galatasaray received the real blow to the gut only recently. On November 14, the same publication Fotospor reported that Shakhtar had finally obtained agreement from Tottenham to pay compensation in the amount of 6.5 million euros for the transfer of Israeli winger Manor Solomon, which occurred this summer. Spurs also carried out this deal under FIFA Annexe 7, and at first they were not going to compensate Shakhtar for anything, but during negotiations between the clubs, the English changed their position and decided not to bring the situation to court proceedings, but to settle the dispute amicably.
For Galatasaray, such a decision by Tottenham turned out to be absolutely unacceptable, as it creates a certain precedent in favor of Shakhtar. The Istanbul club still refuses to make any payments to the Pitmen, insisting that they took Tete “absolutely legally” and complied with all the conditions for organizing this transfer in full.
Most likely, if there is no agreement between Galatasaray and Shakhtar regarding Tete, the dispute between the clubs regarding the Brazilian will be considered by FIFA. The Pitmen insist that in this case we are talking about compensation in the amount of 150 million euros, because this was exactly the clause in the winger’s contract, which was terminated precisely due to the fault of Tete himself and Galatasaray. Obviously, FIFA will not award such a sum in favor of the Ukrainians, but it looks like the Istanbul club will not get the Brazilian absolutely free.
Considering the legal proceedings, as well as Tete’s frankly unconvincing performance for Galatasaray in terms of performance, the Turkish giants are even ready to take a radical step. In particular, according to our information, the Lions are now considering trying to sell Tete in January, which will allow them to get rid of the problem of paying compensation to Shakhtar, since this issue will be resolved directly during the bidding with the potential buyer of the transfer rights to Brazilian.
Among the options may be the “Saudi vector,” which is now popular among those who want to make good money. In particular, back in May it was reported that Al-Hilal, a club that is capable of cutting the “claim knot” between Shakhtar, Galatasaray and FIFA, is showing interest in Tete, using the most modern weapon of all times – money.
Be that as it may, the signing of Tete, who is currently the most expensive football player in the Turkish Super League according to Transfermarkt analysts (24 million euros), did not bring immediate results and benefits to Galatasaray. In their desire to get a valuable performer without paying compensation to his club, the Turks forgot about the folk wisdom that says that free cheese can only be in a mousetrap. This is where Galatasaray seems to have fallen, no matter how much Dursun Ozbek and other leaders of the Istanbul grandee would like to admit it. However, they will probably still try to somehow get out of everything that happened, and this means that there will be more than one episode of this fascinating “soap opera” ahead of us, threatening to follow in the footsteps of the no less scandalous and incredibly time-drawn “Matuzalem case”…
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