Mercato: Lens analyses a new offer from Leipzig for Loïs Openda
Although RC Lens would like to keep their Belgian striker Loïs Openda, they have confirmed that they will not be able to retain him at all costs.
With the sale of Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea and Dominik Szoboszlai to Liverpool already raising 130 million euros on the transfer market this summer, Leipzig is likely to be a major player in the next two months of the mercato, especially as the German club could also sell its central defender Josko Gvardiol to Manchester City for over 100 million euros.
With this war chest, the third-placed team in the German championship will have the means to strengthen their squad this summer, and are targeting several Ligue 1 players, from Castello Lukeba (OL) to El Chadaille Bitshiabu (PSG), not forgetting Loïs Openda (Lens), who has already expressed his desire to join Leipzig. Present at a press conference on Monday, the club's general manager Arnaud Pouille gave an update on the Belgian striker's situation.
"We don't want to trade, but..." he said.
"We've received a third offer (from Leipzig), which we're currently analyzing. The first two offers weren't even worth analyzing. With Loïs, the plan from the outset was to keep him, and for him to be here next season. After that, Leipzig are all over him. They have their economic view on a potential transfer, we have ours. We're still a long way off," confided the Lens manager.
Arnaud Pouille was asked again about the price he would like to receive, despite having already turned down €32m according to some sources. Answer: "When you don't put a player on a desired or envisaged departure list, you generally don't set a price. After that, there are psychological barriers where, as we did with Christopher Wooh on the last day of the last mercato, the three of us have to sit down (with general manager Franck Haize and technical director Grégory Thil, editor's note). We don't want to trade, but sometimes you just have to be reasonable. There's certainly this barrier that exists and that the three of us can discuss, but now making it public, I don't think that's a good thing."