Leeds United are facing legal action from RB Leipzig over a proposed transfer fee for their former striker Jean-Kevin Augustin.
In need of back-up for Patrick Bamford, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa opted to bring in Augustin from Leipzig during the January transfer window. However, the French striker struggled to make an impact at Elland Road, appearing just three times and failing to score.
Those performances saw Leeds opt against making a permanent move for the forward despite an agreed obligation to purchase the 23-year-old this summer, and that decision is now said to be the subject of the threat of legal action from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig.
Conflicting claims over Leeds’ decision not to sign Augustin
After gaining promotion from the Championship to the Premier League, Leeds were fully expectant to sign Augustin but the English club opted to claim ‘extenuating circumstances‘ surrounding the Covid pandemic had ‘nullified the deal’.
Leipzig have since claimed that the ‘legal situation‘ behind the deal is clear and that the agreed transfer fee should still be paid.
Discussing his side’s stance on the situation, Leipzig’s commercial director Florian Scholz said (as quoted by BuliNews): “Our view of the law has not changed. We will take legal action against Leeds and turn on FIFA.
“Regardless of our claims against Leeds United, we would be delighted if Jean-Kevin could be back on the football field.”
Augustin has since completed a move to Ligue 1 side Nantes, signing as a free agent on a two-year deal.
Augustin’s loan deal could be a very costly one for Leeds United
After three appearances without any goals, Augustin will not be remembered for long by Leeds fans, who saw him play little part in their return to the Premier League.
If correct with their details, RB Leipzig have a case for wanting to obtain the agreed £17.7m transfer fee and this controversial legal battle shouldn’t be allowed to become a melodramatic saga.
Leeds have done well this summer in recruiting players, spending just under the £100m mark, but Bielsa will not want to fork out almost £20m for a player who is not even at the club.
As said, those 48 minutes on the pitch last term for the Frenchman in a white shirt could prove to be very expensive for Leeds, equalling £354k-per-minute played if RB Leipzig get their way.
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