Abdoulaye Toure is no longer the first-choice captain at Nantes with the reported West Ham United target expected to depart this summer, according to Ouest France.
After 14 years at the Ligue 1 outfit, a Nantes-born midfielder might have pulled on the yellow and green kit for the very last time – in a competitive encounter at least.
BuzzSport reported last week that The Canaries will not stand in Toure’s way if an offer from the Premier League arrives this summer.
West Ham were interested in January and, with Mark Noble not getting any younger, the Londoners are still keeping a close eye on a long-standing £12.5 million target.
A one-paced midfield has been West Ham’s Achilles heel at times in 2019/20 but the prospect of a Toure, Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek trio should have the claret and blue faithful drooling.
And, considering that Nantes are anticipating the departure of perhaps their most valuable asset, coach Christian Gourcuff is already thinking about who will replace Toure as the club’s skipper next season.
“A captain must play. Last year, after the departure of Valentin Rongier, we ppointed Abdoulaye Toure , a club kid – which made sense,” says the former Algeria boss.
“The captain is not fundamental to me. It is more of an administrative role than a sporting role even if it is always interesting to have a representative of the players to bring up general ideas.
Interestingly, experienced 32-year-old Nicolas Pallois wore the armband during a 6-0 friendly thrashing of Stade Nyonnais on Saturday.
Ouest France claims that it is still uncertain who will captain Nantes when 2020/21 gets underway, with Toure seemingly losing his place as the first pick.
Speaking to Ouest France recently, the 6ft 2ins powerhouse admitted that it might be time to leave his hometown club after spending his entire professional career at Nantes.
“If an interesting opportunity for myself and the two clubs presents itself, then we will think about it,” he said.
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