On Monday, Ligue 1 side St Étienne produced a letter for 33-year-old goalkeeper Stéphane Ruffier, in which it detailed that the club was suspending the player indefinitely for gross misconduct, citing the French shot-stopper’s apparent refusal to train. He was handed it and asked to sign something confirming that he understood and took note of the letter, to which he refused.
A further humiliation occurred on Wednesday, when the goalkeeper attempted to enter the club’s training ground to watch his team face Belgian side Charleroi in a friendly. Rather than being allowed in, he was met by a bailiff who handed him the letter that he had refused to sign on Monday.
Ruffier was also told by this individual that he is banned from the training centre during this period of indefinite suspension. Despite this, the goalkeeper trained as normal this morning, and all players at training were told to come to the training centre to watch the match vs Charleroi, according to Manu Lonjon, making it appear as if ASSE set a trap for Ruffier.
A meeting is set between the player and the St Étienne board for 22nd July. ASSE are set to force Ruffier to quit the club, which has led to a number of sides becoming alerted to the possibility of signing the French shot-stopper for free.
When asked about possible interest in the player earlier today on RMC, Montpellier manager Michel der Zakarian had the following to say:
“For the moment, he still belongs to St Étienne. Of course, he is a truly great goalkeeper. We will see, for now he is in conflict with his club. We will discuss later. We have other options. We are working to bring a good goalkeeper to Montpellier. We have lost two good ones: Benjamin Lecomte and Geronimo Rulli.”
der Zakarian was asked about Defensa y Justicia shot-stopper Ezequiel Unsain:
“He is a goalkeeper that interests us. Other clubs are interested, there are negotiations ongoing.”