How Charlotte FC made a profit by selling Riley McGree to Middlesbrough without even playing a game – The Athletic

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Before getting into football as an agent, Charlotte FC sporting director Zoran Krneta spent more than a decade on the London Stock Exchange. But even in this high-profile area of ​​buy-and-sell, it’s unlikely he’s done many deals with as big a return as the one he just did for the MLS expansion club. .

Krneta confirmed to The Athletic on Friday morning that Charlotte had moved midfielder Riley McGree to English Championship club Middlesbrough for a basic fee of around $4million, which could rise to $6million if the Australia international reached various performance criteria.

“From day one, myself and the rest of the management of this club have said that we want players who want to be here,” Krneta said. “We want hungry players who want to be here, who want to be part of this incredible journey that we’re starting. Riley McGree became a better player and then decided he didn’t really want to come back to us unless he be forced to do it. And it wasn’t enough for us. We didn’t like it. We didn’t like the player who comes because we persuade him to come. We want the player to really come here and play for this club and be part of this story. And when it was clear that he had doubts, I started looking for options.

Charlotte originally acquired McGree from Australian side Adelaide United in October 2020 for a fee of $590,000, according to Krneta. The club immediately loaned him out to EFL Championship side Birmingham City, where McGree has played well enough to spark a bidding war this winter. Charlotte actually agreed earlier this week to sell him to Celtic for around $4million, but McGree balked at the personal terms offered by the Scottish giants, opening the door for Middlesbrough to swoop in and sign him.

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