Lille boss reveals ‘tension’ between club and Man Utd target

Joe Williams
Boubakary Soumare Lille

There is rising “tension” between Lille and midfielder Boubakary Soumare with the Ligue 1 club’s manager Christophe Galtier keen to “find a solution”.

Soumare, 20, has impressed this season with 29 appearances so far and his form led to interest from across Europe in January, namely the Premier League.

Manchester United and Chelsea were heavily linked with a move for the France international, before Newcastle boss Steve Bruce revealed that the Magpies had an almost club-record bid rejected for his services.

Soumare was a surprise omission from Lille’s clash with Marseille on Sunday, however, with Galtier opting to give Jean Emile Onana, 20, his Ligue 1 debut.

Lille lost 2-1 and as such, Galtier was asked about his reasoning behind keeping Soumare out of the team.

The manager told a press conference [via L’Equipe]: “There is a situation at the club that I do not comment on.

“In seasons, there can be tension between a player and his club. We’ll settle this internally and find a solution.

“Under these conditions, I therefore decided to work on two other options this week [Cheikh Niasse and Onana).

“I found it interesting what Onana could do.”

The result left Lille in fourth, two points ahead of fifth-placed Monaco in the French top flight.