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Play Now, Pay Later: How Loans Became Soccer’s Favored Accounting Tool


This summer, that figure stands at 32. Next year will doubtless be similar: Bayern Munich has an option to buy both Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic, both in Bavaria on loan; Tottenham’s deal to sign Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis was a loan with an obligation to buy (his second in two years), as was Inter Milan’s capture of the Italy midfielder Nicolo Barella from Cagliari, among dozens of others. (Serie A, Chaudhuri noted, is a “different beast,” where loans have always been more prevalent, but if anything the pattern there is even more pronounced: five such deals a decade ago, 35 this year)

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Published: August 29, 2019

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