Liverpool could be set for a multi-million pound windfall this summer thanks to former Reds striker Taiwo Awoniyi. The Nigerian left Anfield to join Union Berlin on a permanent basis in a £ 6.5m deal last summer and has been flourishing in Germany, gaining reported interest from Premier League clubs in the process.
The striker has scored 16 goals this season, including 11 from 24 Bundesliga appearances and four in the inaugural Europa Conference League. With Union Berlin currently ninth in the Bundesliga table, six points off the top six and European places, he’ll be hoping to retain such form to help his club again qualify for Europe.
Such form has seen the 24-year-old capped by Nigeria, with him even scoring in January’s Africa Cup of Nations as the Super Eagles suffered a round-of-16 exit. It also earned him January interest from VfL Wolfsburg as they looked to replace Wout Weghorst, according to Kicker, though Awoniyi rejected their advances in order to stay put at Union Berlin, having also snubbed them down the previous summer when leaving Anfield.
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But it could be a different story for the striker this summer, with West Ham United, Southampton and Newcastle United all said to be interested and considering making a move at the end of the season.
Goal.com report that the three English clubs would be willing to pay £ 25m to lure the Nigerian back to the Premier League. Meanwhile, he is said to be keen to prove himself in England, having never had that opportunity while at Liverpool after joining them in a £ 400k deal in 2015.
Awoniyi never made an appearance during his time with the Reds, having failed to gain a work permit as he instead was sent on a series of loans. However, he was granted one before joining Union Berlin. And now as a Nigeria international, he would hope to be granted one again if any of the trio did follow up their interest di lui.
And if the striker did make a further move, Liverpool would be certain to profit after negotiating a 10% sell-on clause in the deal taking him back to the Bundesliga on a permanent basis. Such a clause would entitle the Reds to a small percentage of any profit Union Berlin made when selling the striker.
So if Awoniyi returned to the Premier League in a £ 25m move, Union Berlin would make an £ 18.5m profit on their initial purchase with Liverpool receiving £ 1.85m as a result. After banking £ 6.5m when selling him last summer, it would see the overall value of the transfer rise to £ 8.35m – nearly £ 8m more than the Reds spent on him in the first place seven years ago. Not bad for a player who never even played for the club!
However, it remains possible that Liverpool could be entitled to even more. While West Ham, Southampton and Newcastle are said to be willing to pay £ 25m, it remains to be seen what Union Berlin set their asking-price at. Should Awoniyi continue scoring for fun, the price could rise further.
Either way, Reds bosses will watch on with interest and continue to include such sell-on clauses in transfer deals when selling players, ensuring they will continue to profit long after the initial ink has dried.