Malian Moussa Marega, Cameroonian Nicolas N’Koulou, Senegalese Youssouf Sabaly, Moroccan Romain Saïss and Algerian Aïssa Mandi: these African players will end their contracts with their club next June. Since January 1, they can participate in the formation of their choice for next season. RFI takes stock of their club situation.
Moussa Marega (FC Porto)
The Malian striker from FC Porto was already very polite last summer, but the Portuguese champion did not intend to sell one of the team’s plates under a not very lucrative transfer window due to the health crisis. Ironically, unless the club manages to extend his contract, Moussa Marega will go free next June, four years after his arrival.
In his three full years with FC Porto (without loan), number 11 has always scored more than 10 goals in the league and even 22 in 2017-2018. This season he has reached 5 goals in 11 appearances. Owner of one of the three largest Portuguese clubs, the 29-year-old Malian international has good odds in Europe. Marseille, Napoli and Tottenham have recently expressed their interest in the striker, valued at 20 million euros by the specialized site Transfermarkt. Bringing him in for free could be one of the really good shots of the year.
Nicolas N’Koulou (Turin)
Prior to this season, the Cameroonian defender was an undisputed owner since his arrival from Olympique Lyonnais in 2017. As a 30-year-old, Nicolas N’Koulou now pays the cost of the poor start to the season for Torino, currently 17th in Serie A, championship (2.13 goals conceded per game on average). The former Marseillais, who has not played for four days, could therefore try to jump very fast.
Winner of CAN 2017, “Indomitable Lion” (75 picks) can use his high-level experience to find the right fit.
Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux)
The Senegalese right-back is one of the players most used by Girondins coach Jean-Louis Gasset. But the French technician could do without the next season because negotiations on a contract extension are currently unsuccessful.
Youssouf Sabaly, CAN 2019 finalist and member of the competition’s typical team, was very close to joining Napoli in the summer of 2018, but his knee injury contracted during the World Cup in Russia had canceled everything. The 27-year-old side, Bordeaux since 2016, could therefore be tempted to look elsewhere if he remains spared injury this season.
Romain Saïss (Wolverhampton)
The Moroccan defender has made a name for himself in England. Arriving from Angers in 2016, when “Wolves” played in the championship, Romain Saïss, like his team, has developed seventh in the Premier League in the two seasons that followed his rise. At 30, the captain was on the defensive of “Atlas Lions” is also in Wolverhampton, where he is sometimes brought in to play a defensive midfielder.
The Moroccan international is also capable of being skilled in the opposite area: he is already three goals in twelve games this season. Only Frenchman Kurt Zouma is doing better among Premier League defenders. Romain Saïss, versatile and experienced player, should arouse envy, although it is not too late for him to extend his contract.
Aïssa Mandi (Real Betis)
The Algerian international is also a famous central defender in one of the world’s best championships. Aïssa Mandi, 2019 African champion, has not found an agreement with the Andalusian club to extend his contract. Transferred from Reims to Betis in 2016, the defender quickly managed to win in Spain to become the proprietor of a historic club. His fifth season with “Verdiblancos” could well be his last.