Galtier expects Maia exit


Lille boss Christophe Galtier says he would not stand in the way of Thiago Maia should he look to leave the club this month.

Maia joined Les Dogues from Santos in 2017, coming in for a hefty 14m euros but has fallen out of favour in Hauts-de-France.

The 22-year-old made 37 appearances in his first season under Marcelo Bielsa but has had less exposure under Galtier.

So far this season he has played just three times in Ligue 1 and as a result, has been linked with an exit from the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Flamengo in his homeland are thought to be interested in him and Maia has plenty of pedigree having helped Brazil win Olympic gold on home soil in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Xeka and Benjamin Andre have been Galtier’s favoured pair in midfield, while Luiz Araujo, Jonathan Ikone and Yusuf Yazici have more often than not featured in the more advanced areas.

Lille return from the winter break on Sunday when they face National 3 Group F outfit US Raon l’Etape in the Coupe de France.

Maia could make a last appearance for the club at the Stade Paul Gasser but the boss admits it is likely he will move on this month in a bid to reignite his career.

“There is the case of Thiago Maia who is not happy with his situation and who needs to go elsewhere to play and to rediscover the pleasure of playing,” he said.

“On players like that, it doesn’t work in some places and it will work in other places with other people.”

The club are expected to have a busy time in the January market, with Victor Osimhen recently linked with Liverpool.