The 18-year-old gets the move to Italy he seems to have wanted—but his agent gets cut out.
Bobbdy Duncan will get the Fiorentina move he wanted and that his agent sparked a brief furore over when he claimed that Liverpool’s refusal to agree a loan deal had negatively impacted Duncan’s mental health and was tantamount to bullying the young player.
The move, though, will not be a loan deal—one with no penalties should Fiorentina not play the player and plenty of ways for the Italian club to avoid an included purchase clause, a try before you buy deal that didn’t benefit Liverpool or, when you got down to it, the player.
Instead, it will be a permanent transfer, €2M up front and with a 20% sell-on clause in case Duncan, still just 18 years old, comes good on the promise that had him one of Manchester City’s most highly rated youngsters before he forced his way out there last summer.
Further, according to The Mirror, Liverpool’s willingness to go ahead with the deal was contingent on Duncan parting ways with agent Saif Rubie. The player reportedly did that, leaving Rubie cut out of Dncan’s now nearly completed—and rather surprising—move.
And still, from the outside, it’s hard to say with any certainty exactly what has happened. Duncan forced his way out at City as he didn’t feel he was close enough to the first team or didn’t see a clear path to getting there. He then spent just one season with Liverpool.
By all accounts, it was a highly promising one at the youth level. But it wasn’t one that put him in the first team picture next to fellow young striker Rhian Brewster and, whatever the particulars of his apparent falling out with the club, he will now move on once again.
The fee seems rather on the low side, but it still represents a profit for the club while the sell-on clause should protect them. Hopefully, then, it’s a move that will help Duncan find happiness and playing time.