LOSC coach Christophe Galtier discussed his club's transfer activity on Friday, proving calm despite the fact that star player Nicolas Pépé anticipated big-money departure is yet to be enacted.
LOSC coach Christophe Galtier, whose team resumed training on July 1, pleaded patience with transfer matters on Friday, saying that "it takes time for the deals to happen" while saying he is "not at all worried".
On Friday, for the first training session open to the press, there were only eight players from the professional squad, surrounded by as many youth academy players, for an hour and a half of exercises under the bright summer sun.
All positions doubled except two
With some players set to leave, some competing in the African Cup of Nations and others on holiday after competing in the U21 Euros or the U20 World Cup, the squad currently at Galtier's disposal is quite small - a situation that complicates pre-season preparations but which does not worry the northern coach.
"It's the first week; it's both studious and a little relaxed," said the man who brought LOSC back from the brink of relegation in season 2017-18 to finish an astounding second behind Paris Saint-Germain in the season just passed. "The departures that took place were on the cards and there will be other players arriving."
Les Dogues' stunning season won them a place in next season's UEFA Champions League but, with midfielder Thiago Mendes and left-back Youssouf Koné joining OL and USA striker Timothy Weah, signed on a five-year deal from PSG, not arriving until 10 July, the club has some work to do to get ready for Europe's premier club competition. Wishing for "a squad in which all positions are doubled and goalkeeper and centre-forward positions are tripled", Galtier expects at least two recruits.
The Pépé case
"We know that this deal will probably take longer because there is a lot of competition for his signature and both sides - the player and the clubs concerned - will need to reflect on how they proceed," explained the former ASSE boss. "But that's not why other players didn't come to join us. There are just difficult negotiations, even more so when you have a great European competition to play."