Montreal Impact broke promises in negotiations – Jimmy Briand
Former France international Jimmy Briand has told L’Equipe that Montreal Impact failed to keep promises, scuppering his move to the Major League Soccer franchise.
The former Rennes and Lyon forward, who has five senior international caps, claimed he had agreed a deal that included a car, place to live and school for his two children with the Impact’s vice-president of technical development and international business expansion Nick De Santis.
However, after Montreal president Joey Saputo had agreed a minimal fee with Guingamp — reportedly €300,000 — the final contract presented to Briand did not match the initial deal.
“Before signing, in the talks with Mr. De Santis, we had a package with a car, a place to live and school for the kids,” Briand said. “That was done. It wasn’t until the end that the president, Mr. Saputo, got involved. He reached an agreement with Guingamp on a small transfer fee. But when I got the MLS contract, the package wasn’t in it.
“The president told me to go to Montreal but I refused because I wanted written guarantees. De Santis told me to come and we would talk. I talked to Mr. Saputo when he needed to strike a deal with Guingamp, but to talk about these problems, I wasn’t able to reach him at all, even by text.
“To miss out on such a deal for so little is tough…it didn’t add up to much over a two-and-a-half-year contract. I had the support of the coach, the sporting director, but the president arrived at the end…I’m not angry with him. He didn’t negotiate at the start.
“But I’m a bit disappointed because even though I’m not Didier Drogba [who played for Montreal Impact for two seasons], I have a bit of a CV. Asking for guarantees is the minimum for me, and I say that without taking myself for someone else. I don’t want people to think that I wanted to get extra things at the last minute.”
Briand now admits to being “a bit lost” as he finds himself without a club, as Guingamp insist he has cancelled his contract, and that they have an agreement signed by Montreal stating the MLS outfit will pay a fee for Briand, who was the French side’s captain last season.
“My thinking has been brought into question, I’ll soon be 33,” Briand said, who celebrates his birthday on Thursday. “It’s a blow, because I saw myself in Montreal, a French-speaking city, which was important for us and the children. I’ll see what comes up.”
Montreal Impact did not immediately respond when contacted for comment by ESPN FC.