Le Pen RCS Move Off?
Wednesday, 16th Apr 2003 10:50
French winger Ulrich Le Pen may not be able to sign permanently for loan side Racing Club de Strasbourg in the summer. The former Lorient man was hopeful of agreeing a deal with Strasbourg during the close season.
American sports mogul Mark McCormack's International Management Group (IMG) are set to sell all their shares in Strasbourg for a symbolic 1 Euro. The new owners will be a group of local investors including former players Marc Keller and Léonard Specht, as well as Arsene Wenger as a consultant. The Arsenal manager is another ex-Strasbourg player.
The new group will take on the debts of the former owners and it has been indicated that they are keen to reduce the wage bill by not renewing existing contracts or signing loan players like Le Pen permanently.
The 29-year-old has said he wants to stay with the Alsace club when his loan deal is up at the end of June but may have to look elsewhere for a new club. As with Matteo Sereni and Brescia, a provisional fee has been agreed regarding Le Pen's potential permanent move to Strasbourg.
The player and his wife failed to settle in Suffolk and certainly wouldn't want a return to Town. The £1.4 million signing made just two sub appearances for the Blues last season and another one this year in the away UEFA Cup game at Avenir Beggen. His spell with Town was constantly hit by injuries.
He joined Strasbourg last August as the relegated Blues sought to reduce their wage bill. While Le Pen is by no means one of the club's higher earners Strasbourg were still unable to meet his wages in full, Town paying a small percentage.
If another French club can be found for Le Pen then the Blues would probably be happy to allow him to leave on a free transfer.
Photo: Action Images
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