Kasper Schmeichel’s Nice move is turning sour with Jim Ratcliffe’s club concerned at his ‘very high body fat percentage, how he went to the owner to start as No 1 goalkeeper – and ignoring squad rules’
Nice’s new goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has reportedly got off to a bad start with the Ligue 1 side with a number of issues including his weight.
The Danish international joined the Ligue 1 side in the summer after 11 years at Leicester City – playing a key part in their 2015-16 Premier League title winning campaign.
But RMC Sport have reported that he has not made the best impression in France, with frustrations over the 35-year-old’s behaviour.
Kasper Schmeichel has been blamed for being a factor in Nice’s poor start to the season – with concerns over the former Leicester keeper’s ‘punctuality and fitness’
His entourage is said to have asked owner Jim Ratcliffe for him to start the first game of the season
The veteran keeper also reportedly arrived this summer with a ‘very high’ body fat percentage.
It’s claimed that Schmeichel’s entourage went above manager Lucien Favre by asking INEOS owner Jim Ratcliffe, who controls the club, for the keeper to start the first game of the season against Toulouse.
It appeared to be a request that Favre did not stick to, as the Swiss coach instead opted for Polish shot-stopper Marcin Bulka, who has also joined the club on loan from Paris Saint-Germain.
Lucien Favre though left Schmeichel on the bench for their first game against Toulouse, before he played the next six matches and was dropped again for their recent defeat to Angers
The report adds that Schmeichel is not adhering to squad rules, such as meeting times or sticking to club-mandated rest days.
After missing the first game against Toulouse, he started the next six games – a run of matches in which Nice won two games.
He was then dropped by Favre for the 1-0 defeat to Angers in a match which Bulka came back into the team.
Schmeichel and Aaron Ramsey (second right) were among a number of former Premier League players to join the French side – with Favre said to be unhappy about his signings
Favre’s (pictured) position as manager is at risk with Mauricio Pochettino linked to the role
Favre who only joined the club in the summer, now sees his job at risk, with former Tottenham and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino a strong contender to take the role.
As reported by Sportsmail, Favre was unhappy that an assembly of Premier League cast-offs were signed over the summer by the French side.
As well as Schmeichel, Ross Barkley and Aaron Ramsey were signed on free transfers, while Nicolas Pepe, Mads Bech Sorensen and Joe Bryan were signed on loan from Arsenal, Brentford and Fulham respectively.
Things hit a fresh low on Sunday when defender Jean-Clair Todibo was sent off after just nine seconds – unsurprisingly the fastest sending off in Ligue 1 history – and they slumped to a 1-0 loss at home to Angers.
Favre’s ailing team have also been beaten by Clermont, Marseille and Monaco, and held to draws by Toulouse and Strasbourg.
It has been a difficult start for Schmeichel at Nice with his place in the line-up not guaranteed
It sparks a huge contrast to Leicester, where he is adored by their supporters after an 11-year stint at the club which saw the highlight of winning the Premier League back in 2016
Ratcliffe meanwhile, the richest man in Britain with a worth of £6.33billion, is being linked with a buy-out of Manchester United from the hated Glazer family.
The official line is that the Americans won’t sell the club but Ratcliffe is one of the few people in the world who has not only the capital to buy them but an emotional connection.
For many United fans, the INEOS boss is the only hope of freeing the club from the clutches of the Glazers.
Patrick Vieira, Adrian Ursea and Christophe Galtier have all been and gone in the intervening four years in the Nice dugout before the club’s hierarchy decided to come back to the Swiss Favre.
His first spell with the club from the French Riviera was a success as he guided them into the Champions League for the first time in the modern era.