Arsenal and Kia Joorabchian are speaking out to deny reports that their deal for David Luiz included a £6m fee to intermediaries.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: David Luiz of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 30, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: David Luiz of Arsenal during a Premier League match on September 30, 2019. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

As you probably saw over the weekend, The Athletic ran a story claiming Arsenal paid a £6m fee to intermediaries to help complete their deadline-day David Luiz transfer.

However, Arsenal are denying the report. A spokesperson told The Athletic: “We don’t recognise these numbers. We rarely discuss figures but the payments to intermediaries was less then £1 million.”

Football.London also wrote that club sources informed them last night that the entire figure paid to intermediaries associated with the deal was less than £1m.

Meanwhile, Luiz’s agent Kia Joorabchian is out in public saying the same thing. He told Sky Sports: “The agent’s fee that was reported by The Athletic is so, so, so wrong. The fee for David was less than 10 per cent of that.”

Joorabchian then said in his talkSPORT interview: “We have all the proof and have gone legal with them.”

Of course, Arsenal and Joorabchian have every reason to deny this story. The £6m fee makes Arsenal look like bad negotiators and will probably make clubs much less likely to want to deal with Joorabchian.

At the same time, their public denial of the figures is rather unprecedented. We’ve seen plenty of lies about fees later proven false without Arsenal ever commenting. The fact they’re speaking out so adamantly on this one is certainly worth noting.

This also isn’t an excuse to attack Amy Lawrence, as some are. She was the one who included Arsenal’s denial in the first place, providing the evidence against her own report. Clearly, she’s not just making things up.

Maybe her source made a mistake. Maybe Arsenal are lying to cover themselves. It’s difficult to say from the outside, so just make your own mind up without turning it into a big deal.