In the days following his announcement, Galtier has been heavily lined to Lyon and Nice - reports that have not landed softly on the desk of Lille president Olivier Letang.
Letang, in an interview with RMC Sports, insists that he and Les Dogues did all they could to retain Galtier, and suggests that Nice's pursuit of Galtier may be in violation of league rules.
(Quotes translated by Get French Football News)
Olivier Létang, have you identified what you want in terms of Christophe Galtier’s replacement?
"I am constantly questioned about the recruitment of the future coach of LOSC. Today and barring any changes, our manager under contract is Christophe Galtier. I have received his message expressing his desire to move on and I understand it, even if my wish is for him to remain. Lyon informed me of their discussions with him but had the courtesy and the morals to do so. I hear about advanced contacts with Nice, who have never contacted us, contravening the regulations. I trust that the board at Nice, who are also part of the board of directors of the LFP, will respect the rules. Before speaking on the future, I am waiting for a club to contact me to formalise their wish to hire Christophe."
Does that mean that Christophe Galtier will not leave Lille for free?
"Yes, there will be a negotiation because Christophe is for us, and probably for his future club, an essential asset in the successes to come. And he has one year of contract left. I will defend the interests of LOSC and our entire community, as I would with the transfer of a key player. The recent coach transfers in Germany and Portugal show that a manager’s contract has value. And often a high value for the coaches that are sought after. The goal is not to block Christophe but to strike the right deal which would constitute a major transfer of this summer window, worth the amount of a talented player, if not more."
Have you still identified potential replacements?
"For our part, we are studying numerous profiles from potential coaches, as well as certain sought after coaches, to prepare for the future. But we will not contact a coach who is under contract, unless we inform the club beforehand. We need to settle Christophe’s situation first to see things clearly, because Christophe remains our first choice."