Swansea outcast Franck Tabanou is set to rejoin St Etienne on loan, the Ligue 1 club has confirmed.
Tabanou joined Swansea in a £3.5million deal from the Ligue 1 club last summer but has found first-team opportunities extremely limited at the Liberty Stadium.
But the former France Under-21 left-back now seems ready to return to Les Verts in this month’s transfer window.
“There is an agreement in principle between Swansea and #ASSE #Tabanou Franck wants to come back and I want to see Frank,” St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier said on club’s official Twitter account.
Galtier said in L’Equipe: “We now need to make it contractual between all parties.
“I have not met Franck this week. He came to see his friends.
“But I hope he returns to St Etienne. This is where he feels best.”
Tabanou, 26, had been expected to provide stiff competition for Swansea’s Wales left-back Neil Taylor this season.
But he has yet to make a Barclays Premier League appearance and has featured in only three cup games – in two of those he has been substituted.
Tabanou’s last appearance came in the 3-2 FA Cup defeat to Sky Bet League Two club Oxford and he complained in October of his lack of chances under previous Swansea manager Garry Monk.
“I have never been used to this. The hardest thing, is to see that there is not even competition. I am not even in the squad,” Tabanou was quoted as saying in L’Equipe.
“I cannot stay like this. If this continues, we will make a decision in December.
“But personally I am just asking for my chance.”
Monk, however, responded by criticising Tabanou’s physical condition on his arrival at Swansea last summer and said he had been playing catch-up ever since.
“When Franck came to the club I was surprised to see he wasn’t at the level of others in certain elements,” Monk said.
“I told him that and a lot of the staff and myself have worked with Franck to get him up to the level of what is needed and required to play in this team.
“Unfortunately for him, in the period it’s taken him to get to that level players in his position are already there and playing games, so they’re ahead of him.
“So it’s for Franck to fight hard and wait for his opportunity.”