Wolves defender Rayan Ait-Nouri is going from strength to strength, but the star’s reported sell-on clause already looks like it could be cause for frustration.
The 20-year-old was back in the starting XI at the weekend, as he replaced Fernando Marcal to face Southampton.
The Frenchman picked up an injury in the warm-up at Brighton in the penultimate game of 2021, and missed the clash with the Seagulls and then Chelsea.
He was back on the bench against Manchester United, but didn’t get on. He did return to the starting XI against Sheffield United in the FA Cup, and kept his place against the Saints.
And since coming back into the team, Ait-Nouri has been fantastic.
The star has recorded an assist in each of the games he has returned for so far.
He also won the penalty on Saturday, if one wants to count that as an assist.
The twinkled-toed star really does look like a fantastic young player, who has come on leaps and bounds from last season when he was on loan.
Working with Bruno Lage has had a huge impact on his game, especially defensively, and it is exciting to observe his trajectory.
There have already been some reports about other clubs taking a glance at him.
Paris Saint-Germain were the first to be mentioned. Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham have also been credited with an interest (Daily Mail).
But there is something that hovers over Ait-Nouri like a dark cloud.
Wolves were able to sign the star on a permanent deal for just £10 million from Angers (Express & Star).
That seems like great business on the face if it. But the figure was only that low because the Ligue 1 side reportedly requested a whopping 50% sell-on clause. Which Wolves agreed to.
Should Wolves reach the point where they want or need to sell, half the money will go to his former club.
Rayan Ait-Nouri sell-on clause could come back to bite Wolves
Hopefully Ait-Nouri will be sticking around for a good while yet.
But it is difficult not to think about that sell-on clause given how ridiculously high it is.
Perhaps there was no avoiding it at the time. Wolves clearly wanted Ait-Nouri back permanently, and maybe Angers wouldn’t do the deal without the clause.
The youngster is showing signs he has the potential to be special. Ultimately, he could have a massive market price.
But Wolves wouldn’t be entitled to all the money from a potential sale because of the clause.
If there is any possible means of getting it removed, then Wolves should look into it.