Paris Saint-Germain shocked the world of football in 2017 by activating the release clause of Brazilian superstar Neymar and landing him for a world-record fee.
Barcelona had no option but to let their star man leave, although were handsomely reimbursed with £198million.
In La Liga it is compulsorary for all players to have a release clause inserted into their contracts, but they aren't as as prevalent in the Premier League.
Arsenal did activate Luis Suarez's buyout clause during his time at Liverpool , by offering £40million plus £1, but the Reds' ownership stood firm and refused to sell.
Ultimately, Liverpool convinced Suarez to stay for one more season with the promise that they would sell him abroad, which they did, to Barcelona for £65million.
The transfer of Neymar in 2017 has caused a ripple effect, with clubs now ensuring that their indispensable players have unrealistically high buyout options inserted into their contracts to dissuade other clubs from approaching.
Here is the list of the top ten highest release clauses in world football.
10. Gerard Pique – £423million
Ever-present Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique makes his way into the top ten with a huge half a billion euros release clause.
Pique has won all there is to win in football and is still recognised as one of the best defenders around, playing an integral part in Barcelona's team.
However, the Catalonian turned 33 this month, so it's safe to say he won't be going anywhere at that price.
9. Gareth Bale – £423million
Welshman Gareth Bale signed for Real Madrid in September 2013, for a world record transfer fee of £85.3million.
The former Southampton and Spurs man proved his worth for Los Blancos, scoring winning goals in two separate Champions League finals, including a stunning overhead kick against Liverpool.
Bale has fallen out of favour at Madrid recently under manager Zinedine Zidane and was close to leaving for Chinese side Jiangsu Suning in the summer.
8. Marco Asensio – £592.5million
Spanish attacking midfielder Marco Asensio comes in at number eight with a whopping release clause of £592.5million.
The Real Madrid star broke into the team in 2016/17 and managed to score a goal in that season's Champions League final, helping his team to beat Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff .
Asensio suffered a horrific knee injury in a pre-season friendly against Arsenal, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, and the 24-year-old will be hoping to make his comeback before the end of the campaign.
7. Isco – £592.5million
Isco was the first signing of former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The Spanish midfielder was bought from Malaga for a fee of £27million and has gone on to win one La Liga title as well as four Champions League winners medals.
6. Vinicius Jnr – £592.5million
Brazilian starlet Vinicius Jnr is another Real Madrid player with a release clause of £529.5million.
The pacy winger went some way to proving his value last week by scoring the opener against rivals Barcelona in El Clásico, becoming the youngest ever teenager to score in that fixture, a record previously set by Lionel Messi.
5. Lionel Messi – £592.5million
Arguably the greatest footballer of all time, it comes as no surprise to see Lionel Messi on this list.
The Argentinian now boasts six Ballon D'ors and is debatably the only player on this list who actually could command such a fee.
Messi has a clause inserted into his contract which gives him the right to end his contract each summer, despite being contracted to 2021.
4. Brahim Diaz – £634.9million
Real Madrid signed Spanish youngster Brahim Diaz from Manchester City in January 2019 for a fee of £15.5million.
The fee was seen as a steal for the former Malaga youngster, who moved from Manchester to Madrid with just months remaining on his City contract.
He has so far made 12 La Liga appearances for Los Blancos, scoring one goal.
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