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Southampton Announce Agreement In Principle For Sékou Mara
Thursday, 21st Jul 2022 22:31

Saints have announced that they have signed Sékou Mara from Girondins de Bordeaux to a contract, but for the moment it is only an agreement in principle, read on for more details.

The name Sékou Mara came out of nowhere in the last 24 hours, but it seems Saints have moved quickly and silently to snatch him from under the noses of Leeds United & Newcastle , but the deal is not completely done yet with a work permit needed to be obtained and international clearance.

The club statement reads as follows.

Southampton Football Club can confirm it has, this evening, reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of talented 19-year-old forward Sékou Mara from Girondins de Bordeaux, subject to a medical, obtaining a work permit and international clearance.

A France Under-21 international, Mara is set to become Saints’ sixth summer signing once he completes his medical and signs the transfer paperwork in the coming days.

This sounds a little premature, I think the issue might well be the work permit, since leaving the EU the freedom of movement has ended between the UK and Europe and that includes footballers,

Saints will now have to jump through the hoops for a player who initially will not fulfil the criteria and Saints will have to them put forward a case for the permit being granted based on a points system.

The fact they have announced the signing suggests that they feel they will be able to get a work permit for the player.

Photo: Action Images

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Colburn added 23:12 - Jul 21
I don't think there will be any issues at all. Other transfers in from EU countries have completed. I think the club have made the announcement because the cat is already out of the bag and rather than wait for the usual processes before announcing, have instead done it now. I don't think they would have said anything if they were any hurdles other than the medical.

SaintNick added 23:41 - Jul 21
There are strict qualification rules, it is hard to get youngsters in now unless they are first team regulars and full internationals

Jesus_02 added 00:19 - Jul 22
Work permit may still be an issue as we are no longer part of the EU. It based on a points system i think. It may depend on salary we are offering in relation to median for the profession. Previously there where point added for the signing clubs performance / stature , not sure if that the case anymore. Pretty sure that the fact we are Prem may help. We might be publicising it to effect any decisions. It looks bad if we cant but Newcastle end up signing because they offer a higher salary. We have struggled to buy players in the past becuase of WPs

misterg added 08:43 - Jul 22
I am pretty certain the real reason that Saints have made this unprecedented early announcement is to satisfy the Receiver and the French League that Bordeaux will remain solvent. Without the 10 million they are going to receive for Mara they would go in to immediate Administration and face further relegation.
I don't think the Creditors would wait another day without a really firm statement of intent from both sides.

saintmark1976 added 09:07 - Jul 22
A problem caused by Brexit?

Surely some mistake.

Never mind, I’m sure Boris will sort it out by writing something meaningless on a red bus….oh wait a minute.

highfield49 added 09:29 - Jul 22
Maybe a wake up call for some of the fan base who have been so willing to criticize the club for not signing players. The transfer rules post Brexit are massively in favour of the wealthy few who can afford established international players. The visa system is ridiculous if it's designed to protect jobs for UK nationals at the expense of employing better qualified individuals from other countries. The system serves only to promote the forced employment of inferior talent on higher wages with less productivity.
The counter argument of course is that signing Mara stops youngsters from the academy progressing to the first team, but that argument only ensures that the wealthy clubs have their cake and eat it. Whilst the clubs with lower income can't afford the best talent there are no rules in place stipulating that each club has to have an academy and must play home developed players in their first team.

Block8 added 17:12 - Jul 22
Bugger, so if we had stayed in the EU we would have won the PL

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