Fabio Carvalho’s impending move to Liverpool will have big financial benefits for his old youth club.
The Portuguese attacker is poised to move from current club Fulham to Anfield once this season is complete, with the Reds expected to complete a transfer worth around £8million.
As part of the deal, Liverpool will pay an initial £5m fee with add-ons expected to reach £2.7m, with the Merseyside outfit also agreeing to a 20 per cent sell-on percentage. There are not currently any plans for Carvalho to be loaned back to Fulham next season. The Athletic claim that the pending transfer will now benefit Balham FC, the club where Carvalho first played after moving to London from Lisbon with his family in 2013.
Balham took a leading role in handling Carvalho’s future and the Liverpool transfer is expected to see them land a small percentage of the deal. There was a chance Balham could have missed out on a windfall altogether as Carvalho's contract was due to expire at the end of this season. Had he chosen to join a club abroad the compensation fee to Fulham would have been much smaller.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Craven Cottage, with seven goals and seven assists in 30 Championship appearances.
Balham, whose men’s first team play in the Combined Counties Football League Premier South Division, has over 20 age-group squads from under-sevens up to under-18s.
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Speaking to Mirror Football back in February, Balham's founder Greg Cruttwell spoke of how he and a fellow coach discovered what a special talent Carvalho was from a young age. He said: "I pinged him a ball and he pinged it back to me and Ollie Kanner, who was the other coach with me, and we both immediately looked at each other and went, ‘hello!’.
“Just the way he struck the ball from 30 yards away at the age he was, the power and technique. He joined in the session and he was mustard. You could see he had real poise, agility. It was clear he was extremely talented, so we said at the end to him and his mum to come along to more sessions, which he did. Fabio still bleeds Balham blood. He comes back to watch Balham games, I’m in touch with him all the time and he wants to know what’s happening with Balham.
“He comes and supports us as much as he can which just shows the kind of person he is - he doesn’t forget where he came from and he’s so appreciative of the work we did with him at Balham. To be standing at Craven Cottage or at away games hearing the fans singing the name of a Balham player, it’s magical."
Before his summer move, Carvalho will be hoping to help Fulham seal an immediate return to the Premier League. Sunday saw them suffer a shock 3-1 defeat at home to Coventry but Marco Silva's men need just six more points to confirm promotion.