Sports Burst - Lille In Limbo

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President of Ligue 1 champions warns that "you don’t come and stomp on Lille like that" after coach courting 

 

In an age when contracts in sports are merely whimsical suggestions of legality and where it's all Gen Z me-me-me from the athletes that sign them, one person is standing up and declaring that he's as mad as hell, and isn't going to take this anymore.

And with good reason.

That person Oliver Letang, the president of Ligue 1 side Lille. Monsieur Letang also happens to be the president of the brand new champions of Ligue 1, with Lille having overcome the challenges of PSG, Monaco and Lyon to lift the trophy in a remarkable achievement. 

 

Instead of basking in the glory and planning how to outfox all-comers in a new campaign, Letang is caught in a war or words - and lawyers - with the coach who helped deliver that victory, Christophe Galtier. 

Galtier dramatically quit Lille just two days after winning the league title. Initially, the 54-year-old was expected to join Lyon. That did not pan out. Then there was a flirtation with Everton. However, the destination is now Nice, a team that only finished in ninth last season but has an ambitions of significantly improving that and the financing to boot.

Unfortunately, for Lille those are lacking despite being champions. The club is heavily in debt and it is a case of sell, sell, sell in terms of its playing assets. Goalkeeper, Mike Maignan has already left for AC Milan. Captain Jose Fonte is expected to go as well while clubs are circling around the likes of Renato Sanchez and Boubakary Soumare.

 

This need for funding and also the sleight of having a coach walk out on the team for one that finished nine places lower sees Letang digging in and playing hardball, even with the new Ligue 1 season starting on August 8th. Letang wants $12 million in compensation from Nice and will not shift from his position. 

"Contracts exist and are realities to be respected," fumed Letang waving a metaphorical fist at the heavens. You don’t come and stomp on Lille like that."

Big talk for a Lille club. 

Catch the new Ligue 1 season exclusively on beIN SPORTS. 

 

 

Messi celebrates birthday with no Barca answer 

 

At least Lionel Messi is abiding by the terms of his contract, although the Argentinean only has one for another six days with Barcelona.

 

The latest news on the situation is no news with Barcelona reportedly being ghosted by Messi on what his thinking is on a possible new two-year deal at the Camp Nou. Today though, Messi has other fish to fry, birthday fish. Which sounds gross.

Leo is 34 and will be contemplating his mortality while on duty with Argentina at Copa America. 

 

 

PSG set for signing spree 

 

PSG could be busy bees over the next week with three signings being announced. A near dead cert is Gianluigi Donnarumma with the Milan keeper having taken a medical ahead of a free transfer. The Italian international's current deal with Milan runs out on the 30th June.

 

As does Sergio Ramos' official relationship with Real Madrid. An unimpeachable story has Ramos moving to PSG with sources saying that "friends of Ramos says so" - watertight. 

While those two deals are free, PSG are said to be in the market for brining in fullback Achraf Hakimi from Inter Milan for a figure of around $60 million, having beaten Chelsea in a signing contest. 

 

 

Ground-breaking W Series on starting grid 

 

beIN SPORTS is just one day away from participating in a momentous occasion with the launch of the 2021 W Series - 18 elite women motor racing drivers competing for a $1.5 million prize across eight races. The aim is to see one of those women in the seat of a Formula 1 car. 

 

Indeed, the W Series is in partnership with Formula 1 and the 8 races will be on the same weekends and same tracks as F1, starting at the Red Bull Ring, Austria this weekend.

Catch qualification live on beIN XTRA for free at 10:30AM ET / 7:30AM PT on Friday with full race coverage on beIN XTRA on Saturday from 10AM ET / 7AM PT. 


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