In a sensational turn of events, Le Havre midfielder Pape Gueye, who is out of contract at the end of the month, has this afternoon released an official statement in L’Équipe, announcing that he will not be joining Premier League side Watford, despite the London-based club formally announcing the deal in April.
Six months ago, it was believed that Gueye’s future had been sorted, signing a pre-contract with Watford on 15th January, under the counsel of his now former agent Bakari Sanogo. Watford’s announcement indicated that the 21-year-old has signed a 5-year contract with them.
However, things have been complicated all year – unhappy with the financial arrangement reached with Watford, Gueye decided to end his relationship with Sanogo, a long-time family friend of the Gueye family. And several hours after Watford’s announcement of his arrival, his new adviser, lawyer Pierre-Henri Bovis, announced “possible irregularities in his contract.”
Three weeks later, L’Équipe revealed that the player undertook an illegal medical in Italy, to the benefit of Watford and RMC reported that Gueye had actually signed 3 different pre-contracts, the one with Watford, and then contracts with an Italian and Spanish side.
Watford and Sanogo were unavailable for comment.
Pape Gueye’s statement in full:
“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.”