MANCHESTER UNITED are facing a monster £74million bill for transfer add-ons on signings including the likes of Fred and Diogo Dalot.
Old Trafford chiefs have been incentivising deals to ensure they pay as little up front as possible.
1 Man Utd owe £74m in transfer add-ons for the signings of Fred, Dalot and others
Summer deals for Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are just three that saw United fail to pay the full amount up front.
The "buy now, pay later" approach is becoming increasingly popular at Man Utd as they desperately bid to improve.
That way, should a big-money signing flop – much like Romelu Lukaku – they will be able to pay less than they would have had they paid it all up front.
Some additional payments to former clubs include number of first-team appearances made, qualifying for the Champions League and even winning the Premier League – as well as international caps.
But in Lukaku's case, United agreed to pay his old side Everton £5m every season in which the Belgian scored 20 league goals.
Man Utd add-ons (selected players)
FRED – £52m (£12m add-ons)
AARON WAN-BISSAKA – £50m (£5m add-ons)
ROMELU LUKAKU – £75m (£5m per year when scoring 20 Prem goals)
HARRY MAGUIRE – £85m (£5m add-ons)
DANIEL JAMES – £15m (£3m add-ons)
Lukaku failed to reach that magic mark once, netting just 16 in 2017-18 and a woeful 12 last season.
In the Belgian's final season at Everton, he scored 25 times to bag his £75m move to Old Trafford.
As of June 30, United owed £74.3m in add-ons – with that figured rising drastically over the years.
In 2017 that tally was £44.6m and two years prior, in 2015, that figure stood at a mere £26.3m.
The unwillingness to spend big up front shows a real lack of trust from the board in the players being recommended for signing.
LADBROKES 1-2-FREE Simply predict West Ham vs Palace, Saints vs Chelsea and Newcastle vs Man Utd scores this weekend and win £100
MORE MAN UTD STORIESLive BlogUNITED LATEST Man Utd news LIVE – Latest news and gossip from Old Trafford Dis-Schmeiched Paul Pogba is not liked at Man Utd and a 'problem child' says Schmeichel 'SQUAD PLAYER' Arsenal fans fume as Keane claims Vieira would NOT have got into Utd team WOEFUL Twitter cannot believe how terrible 'pub football' between Man Utd and Arsenal was RevealedLUK-Y BREAK Lukaku saved Man Utd £5m every season thanks to his awful goal return RevealedOL BE DAMNED Man Utd in worst start to season for 30 YEARS with Solskjaer in trouble KEANE TO MAKE UP Keane in rare Fergie tribute as he reveals heartache of letting him down MAN UTD RATINGS McTominay looks the £89m midfielder but poor Lingard's drought continues GossipALD FLAME Man Utd to make another swoop for Alderweireld in January to bolster defence
But that's hardly a surprise, with a host of mega-money buys in recent seasons struggling.
Paul Pogba, at a then-world-record £89m, has hardly set the world alight in Manchester, while flop Fred set the club back a staggering £52m, with £12m thought to be add-ons.
Anthony Martial had add-ons related to him winning 25 France caps and being nominated for the Ballon d'Or by 2018, neither of which cost United a penny.
United are owed a mere £707,000 in add-ons from players they've sold.