The Slovenia Times

Striker Vipotnik transferred to Bordeaux in near record deal

Slovenian national football team members Žan Vipotnik, Adam Gnezda Čerin, Jure Balkovec and Miha Zajc.
Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA

Žan Vipotnik, the Slovenian football league's top scorer last year, is leaving Maribor to continue his career in Bordeaux. The six-time French champions, currently playing in the second division, unofficially paid around €3 million for the 21-year-old international in what could be a record deal for players from the Slovenian league.

While the value of transfer is presently ranked fifth among deals involving Slovenian league players, local media have reported it could rise to the standing record of €5 million if certain bonuses get enacted.

Maribor have also secured the right to a percentage of the fee tied to Vipotnik's next transfer. The club's director Marko Šuler has assessed the deal as a possible new milestone and definitely a record for Maribor, where Vipotnik matured into a top striker.

"I admit there are some special emotions involved. I spent an unforgettable nine years here, my youth in fact. I enjoyed every minute of it," Vipotnik was quoted as saying by the press.

Šuler said "a transfer from Slovenia to France is a major deal, not only for Maribor, but for Slovenian football as a whole". "It's something to be proud of. This is a story of success, not only sport- but also business-wise," he added.

The highest transfer figure for the Slovenian league is held by Nigerian player Ezekiel Henty, who left Olimpija Ljubljana for Lokomotiv Moscow for €5 million in the 2015/16 season, and Jan Oblak was transferred from Olimpija to Benfica for €4 million in the 2009/10 season to later develop into one of the world's best goalkeepers.

The record for Slovenian players in general is held by another national team striker Benjamin Šeško, who left Salzburg for Leipzig for €26.5 million this year. Leipzig's midfielder Kevin Kampl is meanwhile the Slovenian player with the record aggregate transfer sum so far, €46.25 million.


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