German media outfit BILD say that RB Leipzig have won their legal battle with Leeds United as the dispute over Jean-Kevin Augustin begins to draw to a close.
Florian Scholz, the Bundesliga club’s technical director, said that FIFA “confirmed our legal opinion in the first instance”, but the report stresses that the verdict is not yet legally binding, and that the Whites can appeal.
Should FIFA’s decision stand, Leeds would have to pay RB Leipzig the 21 million euro (£18 million) fee for Augustin, who made just three substitute appearances during his ill-fated loan spell in the second half of the 2019/20 season.
Leeds agreed that, in the event of their promotion to the Premier League, they would activate a clause to sign the French forward on a permanent basis. However, his injury-laden spell in Yorkshire resulted in the club refusing to carry out the obligation.
The agreement between the two clubs stated that if Leeds were promoted by 30th June 2020, they would have to make the transfer permanent, but the Premier League club argue that they do not have to pay the fee since they were not promoted until July as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
FIFA’s new reported stance means that unless Leeds’ expected appeal is successful they will be obligated to transfer the large fee initially agreed upon to settle the dispute.
Augustin is currently contracted to Nantes in Ligue 1, where he has made just two appearances since signing as a free agent in October 2020. When he made the move to France, both Leeds and Leipzig waived his registration - effectively, both clubs denied that he was their player, and FIFA allowed him to register with Nantes as a result.