Nice have punished reported AC Milan target Allan Saint-Maximin for missing Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Angers without permission.
Saint-Maximin, 21, joined Nice in a reported €10million deal from Monaco in August 2017 and has developed well since, becoming a key part of the team.
The forward is highly rated in France and is said to have attracted interest from Milan, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, having scored six goals and set up another two in Ligue 1 this term.
But he incurred the wrath of Nice for his absence from the trip to Angers due to an apparent stomach illness, which the club doctor felt should not have prevented him from travelling.
A statement read: “Last weekend, Allan Saint-Maximin missed the trip to Angers.
— OGC Nice (@ogcnice) February 19, 2019
“In line with the principles of Nice and the board, which place the club above everything else, [coach] Patrick Vieira spoke frankly about the reason for this absence when speaking to the press after the match.
“The facts being that after returning to full training on Thursday and having been named in the squad, the Nice forward bypassed the protocol in place at the club for illness before a match, by simply sending a message during the night between Friday and Saturday, informing the club of his absence.
“While the team prepared to fly to Angers, he refused to comply with his obligations to be seen by the club’s medical staff in order to be judged fit/unfit to travel at the scheduled meeting time.
“Furthermore, his medical issue (stomach pain) did not justify this failure to attend, as the club doctor confirmed with certainty to Patrick Vieira after examining the player at his home address later in the day.
“Called to meet with [chief executive] Gauthier Ganaye and Patrick Vieira [on] Tuesday morning as the players returned to training, Allan Saint-Maximin was reminded of the obligations that apply to all Nice players, then made aware of his punishment. The details of which will remain between the player and the club.
“With the player having accepted this punishment, the Nice board and Patrick Vieira consider this chapter closed. All thoughts and energy will now turn to achieving sporting successes in the final games of the season.”
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