Leeds United have been given a lifeline as RB Leipzig will now accept instalments for a fee of €21m, plus €340,000 in interest, for Jean-Kevin Augustin, a report suggests.
The French centre-forward had an easily-forgotten loan spell with the Whites in 2019/20, but a clause in his contract stung the Yorkshire club with the nasty bill.
Augustin played just three matches for Leeds, but his loan deal included an ‘obligation to buy’ clause should they be promoted to the Premier League that year, which they were.
However, Leeds argued the clause was invalidated due to the break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant the season ended after the date set for the clause to be activated.
Despite Leeds subsequently being ordered to make the payment by FIFA, the case was escalated to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who ruled in RB Leipzig’s favour a month ago.
However, German outlet BILD has revealed Leipzig are willing to accept the payment in instalments, which has given Leeds some much-needed wiggle room.
This was a relatively good outcome for the Whites as they are reportedly looking to bring in reinforcements this January, so Jesse Marsch will need every penny he can get.
Leeds loanee failed to make an impact at Elland Road
Augustin joined Leeds in January 2020 on a six-month loan deal from Leipzig, as Marco Bielsa looked to add firepower to the Whites’ frontline in their push for promotion.
However, Augustin failed to have the desired impact and made just three substitute appearances, scoring zero goals and generally offering very little during his brief opportunities on the pitch.
It was a loan spell blighted by injury and fitness problems, so RB Leipzig must not have been able to believe their luck when the Yorkshire club were forced to pay up.
Luckily for Leeds, they had enough in the tank to win the league anyway, but those three appearances were certainly not worth €21m, hence the club’s reluctance to foot the bill.
The French forward joined French club Nantes on a permanent deal in October 2020 and then moved on to Swiss side Basel last summer.
Leeds and Leipzig reach an ‘amicable resolution’
Details of the two-year legal battle’s conclusion have been revealed by German source BILD this week.
They claim Leeds are still required to pay the full €21m fee, as well as €340,000 in interest, but reportedly Leipzig have been ‘accommodating with the payment modalities’, indicating it can be paid in instalments.
Leeds released an official statement regarding the dispute this week.
It said: “Leeds United and RB Leipzig are pleased to announce that they have reached an amicable resolution of the dispute between the clubs, further details of which are confidential to the parties.”
The prospect of paying the fee in full could have stunted Leeds’ transfer business, but the outcome should leave Marsch with enough funds in January to bring in a couple of new faces as he looks to solidify the Whites’ place in the Premier league.
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