Zahavi's filling his boots

By Simon Griver, July 25, 2014
Follow The JC on Twitter

Third party ownership of players has provided lucrative income for Israeli agent Pini Zahavi as shown by last week’s £20 million deal bringing Benfica’s Serbian forward Lazar Markovic to Liverpool.

While the Premier League insists clubs must fully own their players, most European leagues allow investors to hold a stake in players.

Zahavi, 70, who has always had an expert eye for young talent, headed a consortium which bought 50 per cent of Markovic from Partizan Belgrade several years ago for £5.5 million, according to reports in the Serbian media.

Markovic moved from Partizan to Benfica for £7 million last summer, with Zahavi’s consortium earning half the fee and retaining its 50 per cent stake, which was now sold in the Liverpool deal bringing the consortium’s returns to £13.5 million for an investment of £5.5 million two years ago.

Reports from Israel suggest Zahavi also headed a consortium that earned £10 million last year in its third party stake in Colombian World Cup hero James Rodriguez and Portugal’s Joao Moutinho who both moved from Porto to Monaco in a combined deal worth £60 million.

    Last updated: 2:33pm, July 25 2014