L’Équipe report that two unnamed Premier League clubs have opened negotiations to sign 23-year-old French midfielder Mahdi Camara from Ligue 1 side St Étienne.
Under contract with ASSE until 2024, the player is on a low salary, earning barely €40k gross a month, half of what fellow ASSE midfielder Zaydou Youssouf is currently earning and a similar discrepancy exists between Camara and 19-year-old attacking midfielder Adil Aouchiche when it comes to wages.
ASSE boss Claude Puel fully intends to veto any possible exit for Camara – Les Verts want to offer Camara an improved deal but in order to do so they need to clear their wage bill.
Zaydou Youssouf is seeking to exit the club this summer, and that could help ASSE in their bid to retain the services of Camara. Even a loan exit would help St Étienne free up the wage bill – in France, Brest, Troyes and Angers are interested and Napoli are considering making a loan with €8m obligation to buy proposal.
However, the last two performances from Youssouf, which were excellent, has now led Puel to want to retain the French midfielder and the manager now intends to block his and Camara’s departure. The end of this window could be intense for ASSE.