The Andrija Živković Dortmund transfer saga continues as rumours have surfaced that both Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are poised to hijack Živković’s transfer from Partizan Belgrade to Borussia Dortmund.
The fact is, however, that Dortmund very much remains in the driver’s seat to land the young Serbian talent. Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s sporting director has told transfermarkt.de that Bayer will remain inactive over the winter transfer period. According to the Serbian news portal SuperSport the reports that link Živković originate from last fall when PSG made contact with the player.
In any case the recent speculations involving several other clubs in the Živković transfer saga have their origins with the Israeli player agent Pini Zahavi, as his investment fund holds 50% of the transfer rights. Partizan had sold the transfer rights to the agent for €1.25 million in order to avoid bankruptcy.
Now, however, Živković’s contract is set to expire in the summer, and the club and the agency are interested in selling the player as the January window will be the last opportunity to cash in on the player.
In the past Zahavi has tried to channel Serbian players to Portugal due to the fact that clubs in Portugal have very liberal policies towards Third-Part Ownership contracts. But both Partizan and Živković prefer a transfer to Borussia Dortmund in the January window. Furthermore, Serbian sources suggest that Živković has signed a pre-contract with Borussia Dortmund for the summer.
Hence, the rumours about Živković going to another club, such as PSG, could be the usual tactic of player agents that want to increase the value of a transfer. Currently Dortmund are expected to pay around €2.5 million to Partizan to make the deal permanent in the winter, but the Germans are more than willing to wait to the summer when they will be able to sign Živković on a free transfer.
Overall the real losers of this story are Partizan Belgrade, who will see very little monetary gain from a future Živković transfer. The transfer saga is therefore also a symbol for the root problems of Serbian clubs, which operate in a grey area between being state operated organizations and community organizations.
This setup has allowed for mafia-like structures in Serbian football in which player rights are often sold to agencies and consortiums with very little money going to the clubs that nurtured the talent in the first place. In the case of Živković this could mean that he will leave on a free transfer to Dortmund.