Nice in talks to bring Fulham defender back to Ligue 1, says report

Date published: Wednesday 20th January 2021 12:22 - Dave Tindall

Maxime-Le-Marchand

French outfit Nice are believed to be in advanced negotiations with Fulham to re-sign central defender Maxime Le Marchand, according to a report.

The Ligue 1 outfit have a hole to fill in central defence. That’s due to an injury for Brazilian stopper Dante.

Their back-ups are lacking in experience. Robson Bambu, Flavius Daniliuc, Stanley Nsoki and Andy Pelmard are all on the books. But they’ve had limited chances at that level.

It means Nice are looking to bring Le Marchand back to the club for a second stint. That’s according to a report in French outlet Téléfoot Chaine (via Get French Football News).

The 31-year-old French defender played for Nice between 2015 and 2018 after signing from Le Havre.

Fulham signed him from Nice in the summer of 2018 after achieving promotion.

He made 21 appearances in that campaign but the Cottagers went down with a tally of just 26 points. And they conceded a league-worst 81 goals in their 38 matches.

Le Marchand made 15 appearances last season as Fulham won promotion via the Championship play-offs.

But his chances have been limited this term. He’s played just four times and two of those were in the EFL Cup.

In the Premier League, the Frenchman came on as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 home loss to Aston Villa.

His one start came in the away game at Molineux. That resulted in a 1-0 defeat.

Fulham boss Scott Parker has tightened up the defence in recent months but Le Marchand hasn’t been a part of that.

And that suggests a return home to his former club would suit all parties.

Le Marchand could team up with Arsenal man

William Saliba TEAMtalk

Le Marchand wouldn’t be the first Premier League player to make the move to Nice in recent times.

The club recently announced the arrival of French youth international William Saliba from Arsenal.

Saliba is only 19 so, despite his obvious talent, it’s easy to see why Nice would want to bring in a potential partner with more experience.

Le Marchand fits the bill as the man to cover for the injured 37-year-old Dante.

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