Malang Sarr’s rumored move to Le Havre collapsed in the final hours of the January transfer window, with initial reports claiming that the 25-year-old defender failed to agree terms with Chelsea over the mutual dissolution of his contract.
But as it turns out, that’s not really the whole story. According to Le Havre director Mathieu Bodmer, Chelsea actually did agree a deal with Sarr, but then pulled the plug at the last second ... after letting Sarr travel to Le Havre to sort out the necessary details there (i.e. the medical and his new contract).
“What they did to him was disgraceful. [...] With just a few details still to be worked out, they did a U-turn. They gave the youngster the go-ahead to travel, and a financial agreement had been reached for the eighteen months of his remaining contract at Chelsea.
“However, on several occasions, they went back on their agreement, and then gave it again. And once the player had agreed to make a big effort, to come to us on a tiny salary, just to play football, they blocked him.
“Everything was OK, the contract had even been submitted to the League (LFP), but we never received Chelsea’s cancellation. In the end, they just told him he wouldn’t be leaving and they didn’t even answer the phone any more.”
So, not a good look, to say the least, and also a rather confusing decision — unlike the Hakim Ziyech situation with PSG last January, this wasn’t just an administrative error — over a player who clearly has no future at this club, be that this season or moving forward. But it’s not like this move on our part will protect his already minuscule transfer value; if anything, that will only decrease. And unless the agreed buyout was greater than his already existing contract (unlikely) for its remaining 18 months, he wouldn’t have affected our FFP calculations negatively either.
So you can certainly understand the frustrations of Le Havre; and I’m guessing Sarr himself isn’t a happy camper either. Sorry, dude!