A tribunal has ruled that Liverpool must pay Fulham up to £4.3m for the signature of Harvey Elliott - a record compensation fee for a player of his age.
The Reds signed Elliott in the summer of 2019 after he turned down the chance to sign a professional contract at Craven Cottage. However, as he was just 16 at the time, Fulham were entitled to compensation.
Fulham had been seeking close to £10m for a player they believe has the potential to become one of England's finest talents, but Liverpool have confirmed on their official website that Fulham will instead receive up to £4.3m.
As noted by The Athletic, the Cottagers have also been given a 20% sell-on clause if Liverpool choose to sell Elliott down the line.
Liverpool will pay an initial £1.2m, with the price rising when Elliott signs his first professional contract and if he hits certain milestone appearances for both Liverpool and England. For the whole sum to be paid, Elliott would have to make over 100 appearances for his club as well as feature for his national team.
“Liverpool Football Club respects the outcome of the PFCC’s fair and thorough process in this matter," a statement read. “We would like to thank the panel for their time and diligence in reaching a decision.
“We now look forward to welcoming Harvey back from his loan spell with Blackburn Rovers in the summer and helping him continue to build towards a long and successful career at Anfield.”
Fulham confirmed in their own statement that they were 'very pleased' to have been awarded record compensation for a player of his age.
The £4.3m is not an outright record compensation fee. That still stands at the £6.5m that Liverpool were ordered to pay Burnley over the transfer of Danny Ings, who was 22 at the time and arrived at Anfield with 35 Premier League appearances and 11 goals to his name.
While £4.3m may not be exactly what Fulham had hoped for, the 20% sell-on clause is what makes this deal so sweet, and it could well see the final figure rise well past that £10m mark if Elliott lives up to expectations.
Liverpool had initially offered just £850,000 - a figure Fulham described as 'insulting' - but there was likely always an awareness that the excitement around Elliott would likely lead to a hefty fee.
When he arrived at Liverpool, Elliott was already the youngest player in Premier League history, and he has since gone on to become the youngest ever player to start a game for Liverpool, and that hype has contributed to this record fee.