An interesting and little used contract detail could lead to any Yohan Cabaye transfer fee dropping massively between January and the summer.

The French midfielder signed a five year contract in summer 2011 and is currently two and a half years into that.

cabaye transfer feeHowever, as a knock on effect from European Commission employment legislation, FIFA/UEFA allow a player who reaches a point of three years into his contract, which Cabaye will be in the summer, to then buy himself out of the remainder of his contract.

The club would thus be entitled to compensation equivalent to the 2 years wages that would have been paid in the remainder of the contract – which in Cabaye’s case is estimated at around £6m – £60,000 a week.

The Mirror report that this is the type of deal that Jonas Gutierrez was signed on by Newcastle and enabled them to sign him on the cheap, using this so called ‘Webster Ruling’ – named after Andy Webster who became a landmark case when he was desperate to leave Hearts.

Article 17 of FIFA’s regulations for the status and transfer of players states that, any player who signed a contract before he was aged 28, can buy himself out of the contract 3 years after the deal was signed – this was introduced in December 2004 and became effective from July 1 2005.

Newcastle allegedly value Cabaye at £20m or so, yet he could leave for potentially £6m in the summer – food for thought.