Saha fury as Fulham ruin 'chance of my life' lifetime'

The Fulham striker Louis Saha is "disgusted" by the club's refusal to sell him to Manchester United, according to quotes attributed to the striker in the French press.

The owner of Fulham, Mohamed Al Fayed, yesterday claimed he was "fed up" with the attempts by United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, to prise the 25-year-old away from the London club, while the Cottagers' manager, Chris Coleman, said he would not be "bullied" into selling the player.

But Saha is quoted in yesterday's edition of the sports daily L'Equipe as saying: "I was told they didn't want to let me go. I'm really disgusted, stunned. A transfer to Manchester was a good deal for everyone.

"United offered £8m, which was excellent for Fulham. I am not Ronaldo! And this was a good opportunity for me to join one the greatest clubs in the world. It was the chance of my life. It is obvious that Manchester will not try to get me again in six months' time, because they will have found another striker by then. I really don't understand the chairman's [Fayed] opinion. I gave a lot to Fulham, they could have done me that favour."

Saha has scored 14 goals this season but Fayed insists that the squad must be kept together as the Cottagers aim to gain European football next term.

Meanwhile, Fulham have been ordered to pay Lyon a final balance of £3.2m for the transfer of Steve Marlet by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

The Cottagers were told yesterday they must clear the balance remaining from Marlet's £11.5m move from the French club after the court dismissed their challenge to the deicision made by the decision by the executive committee of world football's governing body, Fifa.

The final payment was originally due on 14 December, but Fulham withheld it because they were unhappy with the role the Barcelona-based agents Sebastien and Pascal Boisseau played in negotiations. However, the arbitration panel concluded that all aspects of the transaction were in compliance with Fifa regulations. They revealed yesterday: "Lyon are entitled to the full payment of the transfer fee. None of Fulham's contentions survive the panel's analysis."

The decision was announced on Lyon's official website. The Barclaycard Premiership club have also been ordered to pay the arbitration costs and expenses.

Marlet, who will be 30 on Saturday, moved from Lyon in August 2001 on a five-year contract with built-in pay rises. He joined Marseille on loan in August and is due to play for the French outfit for the remainder of the current season.

Chelsea appear unlikely to sign the Czech international goalkeeper Petr Cech in the near future, after the player's club, Rennes, yesterday turned down the Blues' bid.

Interest from Stamford Bridge in the 21-year-old Cech has come on the back of some stirring performances for his club and country over the past 18 months. Cech is contracted to Rennes until June 2006, and his club are apparently not prepared to let him leave until this summer at the earliest.

"We received Chelsea's offer regarding the transfer of Rennes goalkeeper Petr Cech on Monday 5 January, in the late evening," said a club statement, which did not disclose what sum Chelsea had bid.

"But Stade Rennais FC have refused that offer and informed Chelsea officially that Petr Cech will remain in Rennes until the end of the season."

The rebuttal may not mark the end of Chelsea's interest in the young shot-stopper, who is also reportedly being pursued by Real Madrid and Internazionale .

Even though Chelsea's Italian goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini, is rated among the finest in the Premiership, it seems to have become unofficial club policy since the Roman Abramovich takeover in the summer to have at least two high-quality players per position.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Powdered colors are displayed for sale at a market ahead of the Holi festival in Bhopal, India
techHere's what you need to know about the riotous occasion
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable