Leeds United have been handed a major setback in their continued battle with RB Leipzig over Jean-Kevin Augustin.
Speaking last summer, The Athletic’s Phil Hay admitted that the whole situation had become complicated, and that it could well head towards a major legal battle. He said: ” 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.”
And now, the German club themselves have said that in the “first instance”, FIFA have sided with them on a positive basis, although it is added that the judgment is not yet final, while, of course, the Whites will have the right to appeal.
While the decision isn’t final just yet, this latest update on Augustin’s case will surely have Andrea Radrizzani absolutely fuming.
The Whites stand the prospect of having to shell out the £18m that was allegedly agreed between them and Leipzig over Augustin’s permanent transfer, and that would blow a major hole in their finances, just when they’re looking ahead to the summer transfer window.
At £18m, that kind of fee would actually represent the joint-third highest sum Leeds would pay out for a player, with only the deals for Rio Ferdinand and last summer’s signing Rodrigo costing more – a real indication of just how desperate Radrizzani and the Whites will be not to pay it.
Augustin ended up playing just three times in the Championship, totaling a measly 48 minutes of football for Leeds, scoring no goals and providing no assists – his only outings for the club all came in the month of February, when he featured against Nottingham Forest, Brentford and Bristol City.
The last thing the Leeds owner will want is to be paying up a significant sum of money for Augustin, which is why he’ll certainly be frustrated with the latest development, especially as the player is now registered with Nantes, so Leeds would be shelling out money for a player who they will never actually have in the squad.
This whole situation has become very messy.