Impressing at Anderlecht, Kara Mbodj has been receiving praise from his compatriot Cheikhou Kouyaté over the past week or so, with the West Ham midfielder touting him for a move to the Premier League in the near future.
Well, according to the player himself, he came very close to doing so last summer, when Francesco Guidolin’s Swansea City had a fee agreed for his services with the Belgian club to bring him to the Liberty Stadium.
Speaking to Sport/Foot magazine, the defender explained that, contrary to general belief, he never actually told anyone at Anderlecht, including their new manager at the time, René Weiler, that they ‘shouldn’t count on him because he was off’ to Swansea.
He said: “I never said that. Cross my heart. I’ll explain what happened. During a meeting with Herman Van Holsbeeck (Anderlecht’s director of football), I learnt that the two clubs had an agreement and I was expected in Wales the next Saturday for a medical.
“After that conversation, I crossed the manager in the corridor who told me: ‘Apparently, you’re on the verge of leaving’. I told him there was an agreement, but I still had a medical to pass. We shook hands and wished each other good luck.”
In the end, the transfer to Swansea never happened.
Why? “Because intermediaries wanted to negotiate my wages with Swansea behind my back! That doesn’t fly with me. I then didn’t want to hear about that transfer again.”
While the 27-year-old admits he was close to leaving for the Liberty Stadium, it doesn’t mean he actively wanted to.
He said: “I was open to a transfer to the Premier League. You’d have to be crazy to let such a chance slip away.”
In fact, Kara explains it was the club that were trying to push him away, which led to the player asking his agent to find him a new team, hence the interest from Swansea.
That was until Sebastien De Maio was sold to Fiorentina, and then Anderlecht changed their tune, offering him a new contract after the breakdown in talks with Bob Bradley’s current side.
How long will Kara stay? “I got offered the contract because I accepted, at the club’s request, to stay at least until the end of the season.”
Guess we’ll be hearing a lot more about Kara next June, then.