Premier League strugglers Cardiff City will in the coming minutes conclude the signing of Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala from Nantes for a fee of €17m, according to various reliable French sources.
After having an initial agreement over a £20m (€22m) transfer at the beginning of the week, Cardiff’s attempt to at the last minute get Nantes to accept €7m less, i.e. a €15m deal, saw the Ligue 1 side call off negotiations for a period of 24 hours.
In the end, Cardiff’s tactic has worked, and they have knocked €5m (excluding bonuses) off their previous deal that they had with Les Canaris. The reason Nantes have accepted this is that the Welsh side has offered the explanation of putting that money instead to increasing their salary offer to Sala, who has largely been very against joining Neil Warnock’s men throughout January.
Sala will sign a 3.5 year contract, as first reported by our colleagues at Foot Mercato, and is expected to be qualified in time to face Newcastle United in his 1st ever Premier League game this weekend. Nantes will have to give 50% of the transfer fee to fellow Ligue 1 side Bordeaux owing to a sell-on percentage clause in the deal that they did with Les Girondins in 2015 when they paid €1m to buy Sala.
The farcical nature of negotiations, as well as Sala’s desire to stay at Nantes and manager Vahid Halilhodžić demands that the club board offer the player an extension not being granted, has somewhat plunged the Ligue 1 side into crisis, with many outlets speculating today that “Coach Vahid” might resign.