Mathieu Debuchy was close to a move to Ligue 1 side Nice over the summer, and he’s recently revealed why the proposed deal fell through.
Debuchy was one of a group of players who seemed certain to leave the club earlier this summer, including Lucas Perez, who went on loan to Deportivo and Kieran Gibbs, who joined West Bromwich Albion on a permanent deal.
The 32-year-old looked set to join Nice before the Ligue 1 club signed Christophe Jallet instead. Debuchy revealed to L’Équipe via Sport Witness how the deal transpired and then ultimately fell through.
“I had met Julien Fournier, the general manager of the club, in June in Monaco. We talked about everything, Nice and myself, to find out where I was. Then he asked me to meet the coach, which I agreed, necessarily. I even accepted to do physical tests, they were positive but afterwards, I didn’t have any news.”
The Arsenal right-back was pleased after his move to Nice broke down, admitted he heard about the news “Like everyone else, in the press“. Debuchy says he was “irritated” by the club.
“He (Fournier) could at least have sent me a message, warning me that in the end, I wasn’t their choice. It would have been… just normal. That’s it, it irritated me, it was not correct on their part but it didn’t surprise me too much. There are things in football that go beyond me.”
It seems the rumours were true and Debuchy really did come close to leaving Arsenal and joining Nice. However, the circumstances of the move breaking down appear to have been beyond his control, based on what he’s said.
For a player of Debuchy’s experience, it’s surprising that he couldn’t secure a move to another Premier League club or equivalent side in Europe. According to more quotes reported by the Mirror, Arsène Wenger would even have let Debuchy leave for free and he’d be willing to compromise on wages if a club came in for him.
“I don’t know what will happen because this summer the coach (Arsene Wenger) would have let me leave without a transfer fee. Brighton also enquired in the last few days of the transfer window. But that came to nothing.
“I cannot predict the future. Some clubs are maybe scared that I haven’t played for a while. Maybe my salary is also a problem although I am ready to make an effort on that.”
It all seems a bit bleak for the 32-year-old. Without any game time, the situation is unlikely to be any different in January, I feel. Could we therefore see Debuchy pushing for a return to the team in the cups and so on? We’ll have to wait and see. In my opinion, I don’t think so.