Thanks for that.
So, the player/agent can decide which offer to accept ?
But presumably the existing club (in this case EFC) would be able to offer terms to persuade the player to stay ? So it would come down to a "terms" auction ? Right ?
A player sale is actually not one contract but two bundled into one.
The first one is between the buying club and the selling club. This contains the fee, the terms of payment and so on.
The second one is between the buying club and the player. This contains the player's salary, bonuses, image rights, and any new buyout clauses.
Both have to be signed for the sale to go through.
A buyout clause is an undertaking by the club, so it can only ever bind the selling club, not the player. And what it means is that if certain conditions are met by the club making an offer, the selling club have to sign their half of the contract, regardless of whether they want to sell or not.
It also follows from the above that if a club is desperate to hold on to a player, the player may force a lower buyout clause (as it gives him more control over any future transfer), while if the club has the upper hand, they can protect themselves by setting a ridiculously large buyout clause.