The transfer of Bafetimbi Gomis from Lyon to Newcastle United has been thrown into doubt by an apparent dispute over solidarity payments and agents’ fees, with the player tweeting that the situation was "complicated".
But the Magpies have yet to get the deal over the line, with the player’s agents and Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas blaming each other for the hold-up.
The situation led Gomis to address Newcastle fans via his official Twitter account, saying: "Sadly, the decision [on whether] to come join you is not my own.
Thanks 4 all the support that u guys give me, sadly the decision to come join u is not my own its more complicated. Excuse 4 my translation— Bafétimbi Gomis (@BafGomis) August 6, 2013
On Friday, Gomis, who has one year left on his contract, told RMC Sport that he had agreed terms with Newcastle three weeks ago.
According to French radio station RMC, citing a source close to Gomis, Aulas wants Newcastle to look after a FIFA solidarity payment that Lyon’s rivals Saint-Etienne are owed for having developed the player as a teenager.
Aulas has argued that agents’ demands have slowed up the move but — whoever is to be believed — it is thought that a sum of €800,000 is proving to be the problem.
Marseille will be watching the situation closely after their sporting director, Jose Anigo, told Canal + on Saturday that a deal for the France international was “possible”.
Lyon - not helped by the cost of building a new stadium - Lyon have had to deal with a shortfall of around €25 million this season. They have already raised over €20 million by selling Dejan Lovren, Anthony Marital, Michel Bastos and Fabian Monzon this summer.
Ahead of their crucial Champions League qualifier against Grasshoppers Zurich in Switzerland on Tuesday, coach Remi Garde said his hopes of bringing in new faces could depend on offloading players such as Gomis.
“Qualification [for the Champions League group stages] is not the only factor that will determine how our recruitment goes from here,” he told RMC. “We’ll also have to see if the players the club has placed on the transfer list leave or not.”
Gomis scored 16 goals in Ligue 1 last season.