The contract stalemate between Inter Milan and Marcelo Brozovic and how he eventually negotiated a deal to play in the Saudi Pro League with Al Nassr is still a talking point on the football circuit.
He was born on 16 November 1992 and is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder.
After coming up through Hrvatski Dragovoljac’s youth ranks, Brozović appeared in 22 games for his boyhood club in 2011. That season which saw the side relegated.
Following the relegation, Brozović signed with Lokomotiva, where he spent one season, leading the club to a mid-table finish.
The Journey Of Marcelo Brozovic into Serie A Giants Inter Milan
In August 2012, Brozović moved to Dinamo Zagreb, where he spent three seasons as a critical contributor.
He was soon spotted as a major talent by Inter Milan, and as per usual, clubs in Italy prefer to begin with loan moves before committing to a purchase.
He was subsequently sent out on loan in January 2015 to Dinamo Zagreb. After spending 1 and a half years on loan with the club, Inter Milan signed Brozović permanently for a bargain €5 million.
Brozović spent seven seasons with Inter, making over 300 appearances with the club and helping lead them to their first Serie A title in over a decade in 2021. He also guided them to two European finals (Europa League in 2020 and Champions League in 2023).
Brozović made his international debut for Croatia in June 2014. He has represented the nation at the 2014, 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups and the 2016 and 2020 UEFA European Championships. He reached the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2023 UEFA Nations League finals.
With European Cup and international final experiences under his belt, when his contract with Inter Milan was on the edge of expiring, he drew interest from several clubs.
Inter Milan Contract Stalemate
At one point, there was a stalemate between Inter Milan and Brozović. This meant clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United, French giants PSG, and Barcelona came sniffing around to see if they could pinch the midfielder at a low price, as his contract was due to expire.
However, after reports that Marcelo Brozovic had signed a fresh new contract at Inter Milan, Manchester United and Liverpool have seemingly been dealt a major summer blow. Barcelona was on the sidelines, and so the player signing a new deal was not such a blow.
The 29-year-old’s contract was originally due to expire on June 30, 2023. However, a new one until June 2026 was signed off, and the stalemate was over.
Reports suggested that the salary package agreed by Brozović was worth € 6.5 million per season plus performance-related bonuses of up to €1m. Brozović moved to San Siro from Dinamo Zagreb for a bargain €7.4m in January 2015.
Yet, the contract and transfer drama still wasn’t over!
The Controversial Transfer Of Marcelo Brozovic to Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League
Despite topflight teams in Europe being interested in Brozovic’s service in the summer of 2023, even after his contract stalemate was settled, Brozovic still left Inter Milan, opting for a move to the Saudi Pro League.
Who would have bet on Brozović landing up at Al Nassr?
The betting odds on him staying at Milan were long and Liverpool looked odds on favourites to sign the player according to most bookies offering betting on odds on transfer moves. Who would have guessed he’d end up with Saudi club?
He signed with Al Nassr for €18 million, netting Inter a nice profit on their original €5 million purchase. The deal even covered a decent portion of his wages for his 7 seasons with the Italian club.
His move into the Saudi Pro League move wasn’t without controversy. After so many top clubs interested in his services, and then signing a new contract with Inter, it seemed he wasn’t going anywhere.
Was the new contract with Inter Milan all a ploy?
This is only conjecture, but after signing his new contract, it seemed certain Brozovic would remain an Inter player. Yet, just a few months later he’s playing for Al Nassr.
Maybe the club and player agreed on a new deal in order to beef up his price and strengthen his position when it came to contract negotiations with the Saudi club.
Inter made a profit, and the player would have personally earned a huge signing-on fee.
FIFA Men’s Player of the Year Award – Midfield Maestro
Although some may say the midfielder’s transfer fees make him a makeweight, Portugal boss Roberto Martinez – alongside Kosovo head coach Primoz Gliha – voted to award Brozović the top spot ahead of Messi and Haaland for ‘The Best FIFA Men’s Player’ award. In their eyes, Brozovic is a midfield maestro.
The 31-year-old received seven votes from the process, which national team coaches and captains completed.
Montenegro captain and former City striker Stevan Jovetic was among those to award the midfielder second place in the ballot. Colombia coach Nestor De Lorenzo did likewise with his choice.
The award was eventually scooped by Lionel Messi ahead of Manchester City star Erling Haaland. But it was undoubtedly a close-run affair.
PSG’s Kylian Mbappe was in third place, with Haaland’s City teammate Kevin De Bruyne in fourth place and Napoli star Victor Osimhen in fifth.
And speaking after the awards ceremony, former Everton boss Martinez, explained the reasoning behind his choice:
“Brozović had an exciting season and had a very good final in the Champions League. The details of not winning were minimal.”