Massadio Haïdara to Saint-Etienne looked a good deal for all involved. The 24 year old only has a year left on his Newcastle United contract, and is out of Rafael Benitez’s plans.
A fresh start elsewhere, and Saint-Etienne is a good sized club, would enable Haïdara to kickstart his career. He’d get a longer contract, with another shot at the big time still very possible given his age.
For Newcastle Untied, although they’d be letting the player move for free, the carrot of 50% of a future transfer is a very good one, and from the French club’s perspective Haïdara was a chance worth taking on those conditions.
Then Monday came, and everything fell to pieces. Initial assumptions pointed to the medical, but L’Equipe say it’s all down to wages.
Haïdara earns €100k at Newcastle United, whilst L’Equipe don’t make it clear whether that’s per month or week, one would assume the former. Saint-Etienne would only be prepared to go to half of that.
Dominique Rocheteau, sport director at ASSE, is quoted as saying: “We didn’t want to go up to the ceiling for a player who hasn’t played a lot for quite a while.”
Given the Newcastle United player has averaged around 10 matches a year over the past four and a half years, that’s probably a fair point.