Over the weekend, French newspaper L’Equipe looked at Lille’s transfer window and that brought them around to Adama Traore.

Lille didn’t want to create ‘differences in level’ among their squad, the club’s CEO Marc Ingla explained to L’Equipe, which sounded like a wages issue, but certainly wasn’t clear.

On Thursday, the same newspaper has it differently, saying Traore isn’t at Lille because Middlesbrough point-blank refused a sale.

There seems to be a series of excuses being pushed forward for Lille’s inability to sign Traore, and they’re not necessarily matching together perfectly.

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At the end of the window, Lille sold Nicolas de Préville and there’s concern they’ve been left short in the attacking areas.

The truth of why Traore remains at Middlesbrough and didn’t move to Lille is probably related to cost and choice.

Several clubs were left shocked over the summer with Middlesbrough’s asking prices, expecting Boro to be eager to sell, at low prices, because of their relegation to the Championship.

Atalanta eventually coughed up the money for Marten De Roon, but it was more than they had expected to pay.

Middlesbrough and other Championship clubs have a financial strength which is slowly being understood around Europe.

Lille face Bordeaux on Friday, the club they sold Nicolas de Préville to, meaning the transfer, and lack of replacement, is more in focus. Perhaps there’ll be new reasons shared for the Adama Traore failure.