In what must surely be a first, one of the new summer signings that Watford announced back in April has released a statement saying that he won’t be joining the Hornets after all.
Highly-rated 21-year-old, Pape Gueye, has cited the actions of his former agent as the reason why he won’t be continuing his career with Nigel Pearson’s side.
GetFootballNewsFrance note that the player signed a pre-contract with Watford back on January 15, whilst he was being advised by Bakari Sanogo, with the announcement in April saying that a five-year deal had been agreed.
A subsequent termination to the relationship with Sanogo then saw Pierre-Henri Bovis, Gueye’s new representative, suggest – within hours of Watford’s announcement according to GetFootballNewsFrance – that there were issues with the contract.
To add insult to injury, it now appears that the player also signed pre-contracts with an unnamed Spanish side and also an Italian outfit.
The player released a statement to L’Equipe, cited by GetFootballNewsFrance to explain himself:
“First of all, I want to thank Le Havre. After 8 years at the club, it is time to turn the page. In the evening of the 30th June, I will quit the club that formed me.
“I want to thank all members of Le Havre for their companionship and their faith in me. Thanks as well to the loyal supporters, ever-present, who have carried this team. For me, the future is still uncertain.
“My mistake in this story is having had faith in a person who advised me poorly. I want to warn my colleagues of the abuse that they could be subjected to in terms of contract signings. I am not the first that this has happened to and I sadly won’t be the last.
“I wanted to speak out against the circumstances surrounding the signature of a contract with Watford and what I consider to be irregularities with their representatives. After numerous discussions, I conclude that there has not been any considerable administrative action taken to resolve my case.
“As a result, and in consideration of the fact that the contract has not yet taken hold, I announce the end of all contractual links to Watford.”
Quite where that leaves Watford at present is anyone’s guess, but clearly they’ll not be best pleased with such an unexpected turn of events.
There are bound to be further twists and turns to come, and with the Hornets fighting relegation from the English top flight, this news couldn’t have come at a worse time.