Lille boss Christophe Galtier has revealed that there is “tension” appearing between midfielder Boubakary Soumare and the Ligue 1 club.
Soumare, 20, has impressed this season with 29 appearances so far and his form led to interest from across Europe in January, namely the Premier League.
Manchester United and Chelsea were heavily linked with a move for the France international, before Newcastle boss Steve Bruce revealed that the Magpies had an almost club-record bid rejected for his services.
Soumare was a surprise omission from Lille’s clash with Marseille on Sunday, however, with Galtier opting to give Jean Emile Onana, 20, his Ligue 1 debut.
Lille lost 2-1 and as such, Galtier was asked about his reasoning behind keeping Soumare out of the team.
The manager told a press conference [via L’Equipe]: “There is a situation at the club that I do not comment on.
“In seasons, there can be tension between a player and his club. We’ll settle this internally and find a solution.
“Under these conditions, I therefore decided to work on two other options this week [Cheikh Niasse and Onana).
“I found it interesting what Onana could do.”
The result left Lille in fourth, two points ahead of fifth-placed Monaco in the French top flight.
In other news, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed loan signing Odion Ighalo to impress in his short stint at the club.
Ighalo was signed on deadline day from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua to cover for Marcus Rashford’s back injury and Solskjaer has said that he hopes the Nigerian can stake a claim for a permanent deal in the summer.
The manager said: “If it’s permanent, or if it’s a loan, if you impress as a player, if you impress as a person, if you can help this group improve, of course there’s a chance we’ll look at extending things and signing.”