Earlier on Thursday, we wrote an article about Harold Moukoudi and Aston Villa’s trip to go watch Bordeaux play Le Havre in the Coupe de La Ligue on Wednesday.
The club was listed among many others as one having sent a scout, yet there was the small problem that Moukoudi didn’t feature in the match day squad.
At the time, we stated there was no way for either Villa or the scout to have known in advance this would happen.
However, after a little bit of digging, we found out there was (having missed it over the weekend).
Ahead of playing Bordeaux twice in quick succession, first on Sunday in the Coupe de France and then on Wednesday in Coupe de La Ligue (luck of the draw, eh?), Le Havre’s manager, Oswald Tanchot, relayed by Tendance Ouest, explained the situation surrounding Moukoudi.
The defender, whose contract runs out in 2019, has yet to sign an extension, which the Ligue 2 side aren’t happy about.
In a similar move to the Jean-Clair Todibo problem in Toulouse, Le Havre decided to then push their star centre-back to one side, asking him to ‘clarify his situation’.
The alternative would be to sell him to a club for money in January rather than letting him run down his contract until the summer.
Now, the question is, why did Aston Villa still have a scout at the game on Sunday? Did they simply not know about Moukoudi’s situation?
That seems unlikely, as one of the first moves his agent will have made following Le Havre’s decision will have been to contact interested clubs.
Therefore, it could simply be the Championship side had already booked the trip, including a hotel for the scout, and decided to send him anyway, just to see if anyone else stood out.
Either way, Moukoudi being pushed to one side will certainly be good news for Aston Villa, but the competition remains fierce, with German and Ligue 1 sides also keen.