Leandro Trossard has traveled overseas after being told he would not be part of Brighton’s squad to face Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday at the Amex Stadium. The Belgian forward, who has scored seven times in 16 top-flight outings this season for the Seagulls, is now facing an uncertain future on the South Coast after being frozen out by ruthless boss Roberto De Zerbi.
The Italian tactician was left unimpressed by the player’s attitude in training ahead of the FA Cup triumph at Championship side Middlesbrough last weekend and took action earlier this week when he ordered Trossard to train alone.
“Leandro isn’t on the list of players for tomorrow,” De Zerbi confirmed during a frank press conference on Friday ahead of the visit of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
But now in another surprising twist, Express Sport can reveal Trossard has now left the UK after boarding a Eurotunnel shuttle in his car early on Friday afternoon.
Although his destination is unknown, it is understood Trossard is likely to be returning to his homeland Belgium, which can be reached in just a few hours from Calais.
Brighton are thought to have taken up their option to extend Trossard’s current deal by a further 12 months to protect the 28-year-old’s value.
Tottenham have been credited with genuine interest in signing the Belgian international this month as he edges closer to the exit door.
After starting the campaign like a house on fire – netting a stunning hat-trick in the 3-3 draw at Liverpool to silence Anfield – Trossard has since lost his place in the Brighton side to lively Japanese international winger Kaoru Mitoma.
In addition to Spurs, Chelsea have also been linked with a swoop for Graham Potter’s former forward and it seems he could now be made available for transfer before the window slams shut.
Trossard is said to have rejected the chance to extend his stay at Brighton, who have been keen to negotiate a new contract with the dangerous wide man.
Speaking to Belgian outlet Het Nieuwsblad during an international break in late September, Trossard hinted he would be open to following ex-boss Potter to Stamford Bridge – providing he would receive assurances of game time.
“Our coach did leave for Chelsea now but speculation about me following him makes no sense,” he said, outlining his conditions for a transfer. “If the opportunity arises, I want to go. But I want to play and not sit on the bench.”
Trossard’s agent Josy Comhair has since issued a strongly-worded statement, outlining their desire to pursue a transfer for their client this month following a series of claims against De Zerbi.
He told the Belgian media: “Before Leandro left for Qatar, Brighton’s intention was to have Leandro sign on. This did not happen, as the parties did not come to an agreement. Leandro has also indicated that he is ready for his next step,”
“After the World Cup, there was an altercation between Leandro and a player in training over a trivial matter. Since then, the manager no longer speaks to Leandro, which is obviously not conducive to the atmosphere, nor is it performance-oriented.
“Leandro still had a starting place against Southampton and Arsenal, but against Everton he was on the bench. He was also not included in the five substitutions that took place at the time, and this without any explanation.
“In the run-up to the game against Middlesbrough for the FA Cup, Leandro had already indicated twice that he had problems with his calf. This was the reason why he stopped training. This was, incidentally, in consultation with the medical staff.
“The manager told Leandro that he had to train separately. Last Monday, the manager humiliated Leandro in group and indicated that he no longer wanted to see him. A manager who has not communicated directly with his player for four weeks is really incomprehensible.
“Incidentally, it is also the manager who has indicated several times that a transfer is the most convenient solution.
“It is therefore important that Brighton cooperates with a potential transfer during this transfer period and shows a benevolent attitude, which is beneficial to both parties.”