Lille boss Christophe Galtier has expressed confusion at the manner in which club captain Ibrahim Amadou conducted himself when trying to force through a move to Crystal Palace on Deadline Day.
Despite huge interest in the 24-year-old from the Eagles, Galtier told the press who had gathered to speak to him yesterday that Amadou was informed that the club would not be selling any first-team players a few days before, making his decision to board a train to London and plead with them to sell him over the phone all the more baffling.
Having passed a medical and seemingly agreed to a new £53,000 a week contract, the Ligue Un star was forced to leave Palace’s Soho offices looking like a broken man after his pleas fell on death ears with the French club, who clearly were in no mood to play ball with Steve Parish from the moment Amadou arrived on this side of the channel.
Lille’s financial struggles have been well documented in recent weeks, leading to plenty of suggestions that they would eventually buckle and allow Ibrahim to fly the nest but clearly, the prospect of losing such a pivotal member of the starting XI was something that Galtier and the Lille board were not prepared to entertain midway through a season in which they are desperately batting to avoid the drop to the second tier.
Quite where Wednesday night’s incident leaves Amadou’s relationship with his teammates, the Lille coaching staff or the club’s fans is now up for debate, with his actions hardly the ones of a man you’d want by your side in the trenches. I suppose we may look to revisit a possible deal for him in the summer when Lille can source a suitable replacement in a less pressured manner but by then, you’d assume a number of other clubs would be sniffing around too.
It wasn’t quite the same as the sight of Peter Odemeingie turfing up at QPR and being refused entry to the stadium by reception with the clock running down but Ibrahim certainly did his best to add drama to the evening for the Palace faithful.
Deadline Day does strange things to people…