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Alphonso Davies Transfer News: The little-known agreement that is key to Bayern star’s Real Madrid transfer

Tom Weber
Tom Weber

  • Updated: 13 Jan 2024 16:17 GMT
  • 3 min read
Alphonso Davies, Real Madrid, 2023/24
© ProShots

One of the driving forces behind Real Madrid‘s pursuit of Alphonso Davies is the fact that he would not take up a non-EU foreigner spot despite being Canadian.

Los Blancos are keen to snap up the Bayernleft-back in the summer, having failed to adequately replace the legendary Marcelo since his departure. Despite Carlo Ancelotti recently – and strangely – hailing Ferland Mendy as the best full-back in the world when on form, it is clear that Real Madrid could do with a more consistent, effective and reliable left-back.

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Davies would be a wonderful option, with the young Canadian being arguably the best in his position in the world right now (sorry, Mendy), even if he is having a more muted season by his high standards. Davies will be available for €50 million in the summer if Bayern fail to agree a contract extension with him.

One of the key factors in Real Madrid wanting him is that Davies would not take up one of their three foreigner spots despite not being an EU citizen. This is thanks to the so-called Cotonou Agreement.

Alphonso Davies
© ProShots – Alphonso Davies

What is the Cotonou Agreement?

Fans of Spanish sports will already be familiar with the Cotonou Agreement, but to outsiders, it is not a phrase one often comes across. In short, it is a political accord between the European Union and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.

One of its side effects is that citizens of the latter countries can, under certain circumstances, qualify as EU citizens. The most notable country to recognise this to be the case is Spain, meaning that LaLiga clubs can circumvent the league’s stringent foreigner limit.

As Madrid-based outlet ASpoints out, the foreigner limit is not a concern to Real Madrid right now. The likes of Eder Militao, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr and Federico Valverde, who represent South American countries internationally, are all dual nationals, as is Jude Bellingham, who holds an Irish passport.

However, Brazilian wonderkid Endrick will take up one of the three spots when he arrives. Yet Davies, despite being Canadian, would not. That’s because he was born in a Ghanaian refugee camp to Liberian parents. Both Liberia and Ghana were signatories of the Cotonou Agreement, so Davies essentially counts as an EU citizen in Spain.

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