It was the chef’s surprise. Very active during this end of the transfer window, Olympique Lyonnais decided to use the Textor galaxy to strengthen itself. On January 28, the Rhone club officially announced that it had started negotiations with Botafogo – a club owned by John Textor – for the arrival of the young 23-year-old winger Jeffinho. A striker capable of evolving in the axis and on the right side, under contract until 2025 and author of 2 goals and 3 assists in 24 league matches.
“Olympique Lyonnais and Botafogo announce that they have started negotiations with the aim of reaching a loan with an option to buy left winger Jeffinho. The 23-year-old will travel to Lyon this Monday, where he will take part in medical examinations. This negotiation opens a new international market for the Brazilian club. It strengthens the partnership between Botafogo, Lyon and Resende, with a solid path for young Brazilian athletes who want to play in Europe.” The discussions between the two clubs are also very well advanced.
A start that surprised everyone in Botafogo
According to our information, Jeffinho should land on the banks of the Rhône as part of a paying loan of €5m with a purchase option of €10m. And that’s not all. In the event of resale, 20% would go into the coffers of the Carioca club (which holds 60% of the player’s economic rights, Resende, an OL partner club, has the remaining 40%). Yesterday, after the victory of his team on the ground of Ajaccio (2-0), Jean-Michel Aulas was even very confident about the outcome of the case, while the Germans of Bayer Leverkusen were also interested. “Jeffinho will come, he’s on the plane, and John (Textor) is very annoyed, given the reaction of thousands of Botafogo supporters.” And JMA does not believe so well. In Brazil, the announced departure of Jeffinho from OL has raised a lot of teeth.
If the press welcomes the beautiful economic benefits of the operation, this sudden departure surprised the entire Botafogo team. “(Victor) Cuesta sent this to the (WhatsApp) group yesterday, so everyone was aware. We did not expect it, it took everyone by surprise. It had already been said that he would travel. We didn’t meet him personally, but everyone wished him good luck by WhatsApp. Our group is united, we get along well and there is a very positive energy. Logically, we all understand a bit of the fans’ frustration with Jeffinho. Jeffinho is a spectacular young man, but those things off the pitch we have to leave to the board and the people who decide. I wish the best to Jeffinho, a sensational boy who deserves the best in his career.”, said 28-year-old Brazilian winger Victor Sá after his side won 1-0 against Fluminense in the Guanabara Cup (a cup organized each year by the state of Rio de Janeiro). But that’s not all.
Textor justifies himself
Globoesporte and UOL point the finger at John Textor. The reason is simple: Botafogo supporters do not understand why their new boss has come to help their team to strengthen his other club. Globoesporte did not forget to publish the statement that the American had made to the Brazilian media after buying OL. “The priority remains Brazil! Seriously ! The club in France has been run by the same president for 20 years, Jean Michel Aulas, and he will remain its president and CEO. My full-time business is, and will continue to be, in Botafogo. We have a tremendous opportunity to restore the club and create a Premier League for Brazil. Everything that is happening in Brazil is a historic opportunity. It’s captivating and I won’t spend my time doing anything else outside.” It is therefore difficult for fans of Botafogo to understand the departure of Jeffinho.
Strongly criticized, Textor tried to put out the start of the fire by promising that the money received thanks to Jeffinho’s departure from OL would benefit the Carioca club. Better, he announces movement for Botafogo once the winter transfer window is over on the Old Continent. “We can use this money to buy 10 players who will be treated as well as him. I’m sorry that this decision, in the short term, hurts the fans, but that’s how you build teams of champions. (…) The fans start to worry when they see Vasco, Cruzeiro and Gremio signing a lot of players, but these have just come up (in the first division), they are following the same process as we did last year. My feeling is that we have a lot of time to work during this transfer window, especially because the transfer window in Europe ends on January 31 and ours is still open, players playing in Europe can come to Brazil. Not only European players, but also players from Brazil and South America, whom agents are trying to transfer to Europe. Right now, everyone is asking for more for their players. Once the transfer window closes in Europe, that’s where we have the best opportunities.” After these beautiful words, John Textor will be more than ever expected at the turn.