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.