Real Monarchs sell center back for ‘record’ transfer fee

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The Real Monarchs recently made history in the United Soccer League with the transfer of center back Stanley Okumu. In the deal, the Monarchs collected a transfer fee in the low six figures that broke the previous USL record for a transfer fee.

Monarchs general manager Dan Egner did not confirm or deny actual dollar amount per club policy, but Jeff Rueter of The Athletic reported Okumu’s base fee was $200,000, plus another six figures of performance escalators and a sell-on percentage.

Egner confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune that the performance escalators were part of the deal and that the Monarchs will get to keep a percentage of a future sale from Swedish first division side IF Elfsborg, the team for which Okumu now plays.

Egner said he does not know the previous USL record for a transfer fee, but was informed that the deal for Okumu surpassed it.

Okumu joined the Monarchs in 2018 from AFC Ann Arbor. He became the first player in both Monarchs and Real Salt Lake history to make the final roster in the African Cup of Nations.

Egner said once it became clear Okumu made the final roster of the tournament, the club “really started working pretty hard on getting him in front of as many clubs in the market we identified as possible.” When he got back from the tournament, Egner said, is when clubs started showing interest in Okumu on paper. The process with IF Elfsborg took about two months.

Egner said selling a player for a record number gives the USL “the credibility that it deserves.

“For a player from this league and from our club at this level to go to a league and a club like Elfsborg is a big deal,” Egner said.

The Major League Soccer record for a transfer came in January when Atlanta United sent Miguel Almiron to Newcastle for a reported $27 million.