You might have seen an interview with Jonathan David on Thursday where the forward explained why he decided to sign for Lille over a move to the Premier League, where Leeds United were interested in signing the player.
Wanting to ensure himself minutes on the pitch, the Canada international was thrilled with his decision and appeared happy to wait before making a move to England, where a lot of quality players end up.
In fact, that’s exactly what he and his agents told Leeds during their rather frenetic chase for his services, as explained by L’Equipe on Friday.
The French newspaper reveal that Victor Orta was the first to call David’s agent, telling him he’d already been in touch with Ivan De Witte, KAA Gent’s president.
However, from the off, the answer was that his client didn’t want to go to Leeds or England, prioritising the sporting aspect, which led him to Lille.
This means it’ll be up to the two parties to talk again ‘in one or two years’ to see if David finally fancies giving the Premier League a try.
On July 21st, it was Andrea Radrizzani’s turn to pick up the phone and offer a chat to David’s agent, while Bielsa himself also rang them to try and ‘deter them from going to Lille’, focusing on Luis Campos, with whom the Argentine had a ‘rather tense’ relationship during his time at the French club.
However, the player’s entourage dug their heels, and explained they were impressed by the work the Ligue 1 side had done with the likes of Nicolas Pépé and Victor Osimhen, clearly wanting something similar for their client.
In the end, neither Mogi Bayat, who works closely with KAA Gent, nor Leeds managed to change David’s mind, who ended up signing a five year deal with Lille on Tuesday.
You can’t say those in charge at Elland Road didn’t try…