The Athletic’s Phil Hay has claimed that Leeds’ ongoing battle with RB Leipzig over Jean-Kevin Augustin could end up with FIFA or in an arbitration process.
What did he say?
The Frenchman joined the Whites back in the January transfer window on an initial loan deal, with German publication Bild claiming that Marcelo Bielsa’s side had an obligation to sign him for £18m after securing promotion to the Premier League.
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Now, Hay has admitted that the whole situation has become complicated, and that this could well head towards a major legal battle. He said: “For what it’s worth, Leeds insist the dispute over Augustin won’t affect their budget or their transfer plans in this window but it’s a bit of a tangle to say the least. Sources at Leipzig tell us that Leeds are trying to avoid paying on the basis that the contract stated Augustin should be signed if Leeds were promoted before the start of June.
“Leipzig argue that, in good faith, that should be taken to mean the end of the season (which was obviously delayed by COVID). But Leeds and Bielsa do not want to take Augustin. This could well end up with FIFA or in an arbitration process.”
Can’t blame Victor Orta
Whilst it may not be “good faith” from Leeds to sign Augustin, particularly if they did have an obligation to buy, you can’t blame Victor Orta and co in wanting to renege on that initial agreement.
The striker hardly featured for Bielsa’s side, playing just three times in the Championship, totaling only 48 minutes. Committing £18m on a player like that when the Whites want to be efficient with their money as possible in this current financial climate just simply wouldn’t be good business.
So if there is a way for Leeds to walk away from the deal, and avoid having to pay a decent chunk of money to sign the Frenchman, then it’s an avenue they are more than entitled to explore.