It might have been all smiles from Jean-Kevin Augustin when Leeds United rescued the powerful, former Paris Saint-Germain striker from his loan-gone-wrong at AS Monaco. The situation at Leeds United now, that is a situation where there are no smiles – not now. Leeds United decisions that have/are to be made, says German football expert Manuel Veth writing in Forbes, could become a benchmark” in these most strange of times.
The big decision that Leeds United have made is to not attempt to extend Augustin’s loan beyond June 30 to take in the extended season. He had been injured, yet Marcelo Bielsa claimed that he was training “without any problem” which only adds to the mystery.
Leeds United are six points clear of the playoff places at the moment and have six games left to play. This puts them on course for promotion, a promotion which would trigger the obligation to buy that would see the Whites part with up to £23million-or-so.
However, whether they want to splash the cash to that extent is questionable. Perhaps hints at Leeds United’s possible direction here could be taken from their reluctance to want to extend his loan until the end of July. That could be part of a bigger picture that Leeds United are formulating.
In the event that it is, Veth thinks that Leeds United might be stonewalled in that respect. This is shown through the following tweet:
#RBLeipzig have made it clear. In case of Leeds’ promotion they will have to buy Jean-Kevin Augustin for €21m. #LUFC are currently trying to get out of the contract citing that the season ends after June 30. Leipzig maintain, the contract is water tight. Bring in the lawyers.
— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) July 1, 2020
German media giant Bild says that Leeds “want to trick and avoid their option to buy” Augustin and that this now has put both sides in what they term a “transfer fight.”
In his Forbes article, Veth wrote that RB Leipzig wanted to move him on as he didn’t fit their corporate image. Leeds United want to send him back as he doesn’t seem to fit at Elland Road. He’s been sent back to the German side with Veth noting that they will now pay his wages.
It is perhaps Veth’s concluding paragraph to his Forbes article that is most pertinent as to the direction this could go. In it he says:
“Overall it is a fascinating case. Augustin’s future could very well be the benchmark when it comes to the complicated post-COVID-19 reality of the transfer market.“
Overall, whichever way you look at this, Jean-Kevin Augustin is a pawn in the middle of a transfer fight that is going to get nasty and have lawyers involved. As Veth attests, the outcome of it could very well be the precedent for the transfer market post-COVID-19.
Red Bull Leipzig.
Obligation is watertight.
The Lawyers will find a way.