Manchester City included a hefty sell-on clause in Brahim Diaz’s Real Madrid contract to put off a future Manchester United swoop, a report claims.
Diaz, who moved to City‘s academy in 2014, soon emerged as one of the club’s most coveted youngsters.
However, after making his first-team debut in September 2016, he only made 14 more outings before his exit.
City, who realised his progression remained unlikely, reportedly earned £15.5million from Madrid in January 2019.
Diaz spent his first season-and-a-half in Spain but is thoroughly enjoying a loan spell at AC Milan this term.
As such, his stock has risen significantly. According to the Daily Star, City prepared for his rise by trying to put Madrid off letting him move to United.
Pep Guardiola’s men reportedly inserted a clause which will make Madrid pay a 40 per cent sell-on fee if they were to let him move to another Manchester club.
But with City and United the only two professional clubs in Manchester with the finances to afford Diaz’s future fee, the newspaper reports that City took a ‘subtle dig’ at their rivals.
Diaz has played a key role in Milan’s push to finish in Serie A’s Champions League qualifying spots this term.
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has chipped in with one goal and three assists in the Italian top flight. In all competitions, meanwhile, the Spaniard has netted four times.
He featured in Thursday’s 1-1 Europa League last 16 draw with United, playing 69 minutes.
Milan want permanent Diaz deal
However, reports from Goal in February claimed that Milan want to make Diaz’s loan permanent at the end of the season.
Milan do not have a purchase option in the temporary arrangement, but are keen to open transfer talks.
Indeed, Diaz is unwilling to return to Madrid if he faces a struggle for game time.
He moved to Italy after making only 10 appearances for Los Blancos last term, with his La Liga contributions amounting to only 59 minutes.