The dispute between RB Leipzig and Leeds United over Jean-Kevin Augustin will not affect how much Leeds have to spend on transfers this summer, even if the Whites are forced to pay the Bundesliga side their money.
That’s the very positive update from Athletic journalist Phil Hay on Friday morning.
Leeds reportedly have an obligation to sign Augustin for a fee of around £18.5m – this clause was triggered when Leeds were promoted.
Hay was talking on the latest episode of his podcast, The Phil Hay Show when he delivered the line that will be a big relief to Leeds fans.
“The bottom line is, whether or not they’re forced to sign him further down the line, whether they fail to get out of this obligation, even if they find themselves having to pay money for him, I see no conceivable situation in which he would play for Bielsa again… It does appear Bielsa has washed his hands of him.
“I don’t think Augustin has any expectation or desire to come and play here. That’s a problem in the background as RB Leipzig want their cash and this might well end up in court.
“But, I’m told it won’t affect the budget at all. They’re clear on what they want to do and that’s irrespective that they might be hit for a bill for Augustin.”
This is great news. The worry was that Leeds would have to shell out a transfer-record fee for a player who Bielsa wouldn’t want to play.
Leeds don’t have a huge amount of money, despite promotion to the Premier League, and fans think every pound is needed for reinforcements.
However, it looks like Leeds have placed this Augustin dispute in a different pool and that, sign him or not, the summer transfer budget is secure.
If Augustin really doesn’t want to come to Leeds then it’s tough to see how an obligation to sign him could be enforced.
That could be one for the courts, though. And we have a lot of sympathy for Augustin, who’s still working hard to get himself back to fitness, according to his Instagram page.
Big Kev isn’t honing his physique for Leeds, though. His time at Elland Road will go down as a huge failure.
In other Leeds United news, ‘One of their own’ – Exclusive: Pundit shocked as PL ace refuses new deal amid Leeds interest