Burnley are closing in on the permanent signing of Arsenal’s Daniel Ballard, with a couple of clauses in his contract relating to future sales.
New boss Vincent Kompany reportedly played a key role in persuading the player, and the deal is now in the final stages with a medical scheduled.
The Athletic report that Arsenal intend to include a matching clause in the contract. That gives them first option to buy Ballard back at whatever price Burnley agree to sell him to another club.
Gunnerblog writes that the starting fee for the transfer is undisclosed at this point, but the deal has been structured with performance-related add-ons. The better Ballard does, the more Arsenal will earn.
That seems like a fair way to do the deal. If Ballard is a big success at Burnley, they’ll end up having to pay more to Arsenal and give them a cut of a potential future sale.
But it will be worth it for Burnley, as they’ll benefit from those performances and from the potential sale too.
This may not be the end of Ballard’s Arsenal story, as that matching clause will mean the Gunners are notified and given the chance to buy him back if and when the centre-back leaves.
Still, the move will feel like more of a fresh start than the loans he’s been on for the last few years.
There’s every chance the 22-year-old will hit all of Burnley’s bonus clauses in the coming years. He’s been a big success with all of his lower-league loan clubs, and he’s been a Northern Ireland international for a couple of years already despite his age.
Ballard has always risen to the challenges he’s been set, this is just the latest in a long list.