Nice sporting director Florent Ghisolfi has claimed that a move for Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was never close to happening.
The World Cup winner revealed towards the end of his 11th season at Spurs that he wanted to leave the club as he has ‘desires for other things’ (Nice-Matin).
The 36-year-old retired from international duty with France in January, one year after signing a contract extension that would keep him at Spurs through to the end of this season.
Lloris has been at Spurs since joining in 2012 from Lyon and has captained the side since 2015, his last appearance for the North Londoners came in the humiliating 6-1 defeat to Newcastle towards the end of last season, where he was forced off at half-time at St. James’ Park with a thigh injury after conceding five times in the opening 21 minutes.
Tottenham moved in a different direction this summer with the arrival of Guglielmo Vicario as the club’s number one, with Fraser Forster continuing to act as understudy.
Lloris has found the prospect of leaving Tottenham a difficult situation, having been linked with a move to Lazio which failed to materialise (Goal) and was linked with a return to his former club Nice in the last hours of the summer transfer window.
Did Hugo Lloris reject a transfer to Nice?
The veteran claimed after the window slammed shut that he had the opportunity to return to the club where he started his career, but was not given enough time to be able to carefully consider the offer from the Ligue 1 outfit (Nice-Matin).
Lloris said: “I want to clear up the ambiguity surrounding the events of the past hours. [On Friday], an hour before the end of the window, I received a call from an agent, who brought up the possibility of joining OGC Nice.
“Playing prospects and the sporting project, the real drivers behind a player’s decision, much more so than financial conditions, weren’t clearly broached.
“My professional journey has shown how much that exchange, of sharing and collective growth, has always forged my decisions, even more so when it’s about coming back to the club that trained me.
“The supporters and the team deserve better than a split-second decision based on a phone call without expectations or a clear sporting project with one hour until the closure of the window at a time where I wasn’t expecting it.”
However, Ghisolfi has offered a different version of events by claiming that an agent attempted to get Lloris to terminate his deal at Tottenham and the story was spun when a move to Nice did not happen.
He told Nice-Matin: “It’s a story that shows a lot about the current state of football and the impact of social media.
“In the last few minutes of the transfer window, an agent tried to get him to terminate his contract at Tottenham with the Nice carrot on the end on the end of the stick. He then leaked the story of a refusal to get it. He didn’t refuse Nice because the club never concretely offered him anything.
“As I told him at the end of last season, we chose [Marcin] Bulka, and we never imagined, financially or on a football level, the idea of Hugo coming in as a number two at Nice. But he’s a kid from the region, he loves the club. It’s a project that could correspond him with the right timing. We have him in a corner of our head.”
Have something to tell us about this article?