Leeds United could face the prospect of a transfer embargo as a result of the Whites’ ongoing court battle with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig over the transfer of striker Jean-Kevin Augustin.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, journalist Peter O’Rourke shared his fears that Leeds could face a transfer embargo, saying: “If things don’t go right for them at this Court of Arbitration hearing over the Augustin thing, it could really bite into their transfer budget for next season or there could even be a transfer embargo, which would be a disaster for Leeds United.”
Augustin made the move to Elland Road on loan from RB Leipzig in January 2020, two months before the pandemic forced a lockdown. It is understood that the agreement included an £18m obligation to buy if the Yorkshire club were to be promoted from the Championship, which they eventually were.
However, the Frenchman played just 48 minutes for the Whites before returning to Germany when the pandemic hit, before Leeds sealed promotion to the Premier League.
Although Augustin didn’t play during the restart, Leipzig still demanded that they were owed the £18m transfer fee given United’s promotion, which FIFA ruled in the German club’s favour. However, Leeds appealed and now have to wait for a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Sky Germany have reported that Leeds may be forced to pay five per cent interest on each of their three payments should their appeal prove unsuccessful with O’Rourke suggesting that they could face a transfer embargo as well.
With Transfermarkt valuing the now FC Nantes striker at just £1.35m, an £18m payment for the Frenchman’s services at an average of £375k per minute in a Leeds shirt, would be a catastrophe for the Leeds hierarchy and would certainly prove to be a colossal dent in their transfer budget for the summer.
The Whites have recently dismissed Marcelo Bielsa of his duties, replacing the Argentinian with, ironically, former RB Leipzig manager Jesse Marsch.
Despite two consecutive victories, the American’s side still have plenty of work to do to ensure survival when they return from the international break.
With Leeds sat in 16th, they boast a four-point advantage over 17th placed Everton. However, the Toffees have three games in hand as do 19th placed Burnley who are eight points behind.
Assuming the Whites do survive, the Yorkshire club will want to ensure that they don’t experience being in a relegation battle again next campaign and will be keen to invest. However, the prospect of paying £18m as part of this court case could prove seriously damaging.
That said, it is surely better than a complete embargo, something that could damage Leeds’ hopes over multiple seasons.