Alou Kuol’s six-figure sale from the A-League to the Bundesliga will help ensure the survival of the embattled Central Coast, according to owner Mike Charlesworth.
With the windfall deal between VfB Stuttgart and the Mariners confirmed overnight, it’s believed the A-League leaders will receive a significant compensation fee upfront.
They will also net another lump sum from any future transfer should the 19-year-old Gosford gun thrive in Germany during the course of his four-year contract.
The deal, which will see Kuol depart at season’s end, is also thought to include add-ons relating to the number of senior appearances he might make, plus a possible percentage of potential contract upgrades.
In the midst of delicate negotiations to sell the Mariners to Manchester United, either wholly or a part ownership arrangement, Charlesworth welcomed the cash infusion, insisting Koul’s emergence “has been no fluke.”
“These sorts of transfers are a good template for the future stability of the club,” he said.
“It’s a big part of our ongoing sustainability.”
Alluding to Kuol’s rise from raw academy pick-up to A-League rising star, Charlesworth added: “I’m very proud of the success of our academy stricture in its entirety, and Alou - and where he’s heading now - is testament to that.
“This is not a chance thing, although it might have been fast-tracked in terms of Alou.
“Probably nobody expected him to have progressed so quickly, but the infrastructure was put in place two or three years ago to create the best opportunities and best academy in Australia.
“This is no fluke - it’s a part of what we’ve been building and our first team results (prior to this year’s ascent to the A-League summit) have probably suffered a bit (as a result of blooding youngsters).
“We’ve focused on this and are now getting the results.”
Stuttgart’s famed director of football Sven Mislintat - a Tony Gustavsson lookalike dubbed ‘Diamond Eye’ thanks to his knack of unearthing uncut gems - views Kuol as another potential addition to a collection that includes Christian Pulisic, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels.
Charlesworth doesn’t disagree, adding: “Anybody who’s watched the A-League this season can see Alou’s potential (seven goals in 16 appearances, 12 off which have come off the bench).
“He's going to a club with an excellent academy and he’s got the chance to go to another level in Europe.”
Asked about the status of talks between himself and the Red Devils about investing in the Mariners and relocating them to Sydney, Charlesworth kept his own counsel, adding: “I really have nothing to say on that.”