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Dec 8, 2012

Landreau lifts lid on Lille exit

Mickael Landreau says he saw himself ending his career at Lille prior to falling out with the club and ending his contract with Les Dogues by mutual consent.

Landreau, 33, had played Lille's last 119 league games, but will not be between the posts for Saturday's match at Sochaux after off-the-pitch differences between himself and club officials, notably coach Rudi Garcia and deputy director general Frederic Paquet, came to a head on Thursday.

"It's a mutual disagreement. We had ways of working that had become too different. I saw myself ending my career at Lille," said Landreau, whose deal with Lille ran until the end of the 2013/14 campaign, and who reportedly accepted a pay-off of three months' salary, around €360,000.

"It undoubtedly started from an incident when Frédéric Paquet came to say certain things, highlighting the fact that - for him - perhaps I wasn't an example to follow. I noted that and spoke to the coach, who chose to say and do nothing. That's when I quit the dressing room council. I'm used to committing myself fully to the project of the club in which I play, but if you ask me to be just a simple player..."

The end of Landreau's career at the club he underpinned during their title-winning 2010/11 campaign is all the more surprising given he has always been Garcia's first-choice custodian.

"I feel as if I've always given my utmost to the coach. He's always said I was the number one and he picked me, so I can't complain," Landreau said.

No sooner had he ended his stay at Lille than Landreau was linked to a number of L1 clubs, with one media source even reporting on Friday he had agreed to join Bastia. Not so says the man himself.

"I'm going to continue doing my job as best as I possibly can, and share in an exceptional passion. But for the moment, I don't have any concrete offer," said the ex-Nantes and PSG 'keeper, who with 568 Ligue 1 matches under his belt is just 34 shy of the all-time appearance record for the French top flight.

"Staying in France is a possibility. I could also go abroad for the next six months before coming back to France. For the moment, I'm going abroad for a holiday before I try to bounce back."

Lille, meanwhile, have confirmed Steeve Elana, who arrived from Brest this summer, has been promoted as a result of Landreau's departure.

"Steeve Elana arrived at LOSC as back-up goalkeeper. Today, he becomes our number one goalkeeper," said Paquet. "As for the transfer window, we still don't have any idea right now what we'll do in January."

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