Kasper Schmeichel’s fine move is turning sour with Jim Ratcliffe’s club worried about his ‘very high body fat percentage, how he went to the owner to start as No. 1 goalkeeper – and ignored squad rules’
Nice’s new goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has reportedly started poorly for the Ligue 1 side with a number of issues, including his weight.
The Danish international joined Ligue 1 in the summer after 11 years with Leicester City and played a key role in their 2015-16 Premier League title-winning campaign.
But RMC Sport has reported that he has not made the best impression in France, with frustrations over the 35-year-old’s behaviour.
Kasper Schmeichel is accused of being a factor in Nice’s poor start to the season – with concerns over the former Leicester goalkeeper’s ‘punctuality and fitness’
His entourage is said to have asked owner Jim Ratcliffe if he could start the first game of the season
The veteran goalkeeper is also said to have arrived this summer with a ‘very high’ body fat percentage.
It is alleged that Schmeichel’s entourage topped manager Lucien Favre by asking INEOS owner Jim Ratcliffe, who controls the club, if the keeper can start the first game of the season against Toulouse.
It turned out to be a request that Favre did not comply with as the Swiss coach instead opted for Polish shot-stopper Marcin Bulka, who is also on loan from Paris Saint-Germain at the club.
However, Lucien Favre left Schmeichel on the bench for their first game against Toulouse, before playing the next six games and being dropped again due to their recent defeat to Angers
The report adds that Schmeichel does not follow team rules, such as meeting times or rest days prescribed by the club.
After missing the first match against Toulouse, he started the next six matches – a series of matches in which Nice won two matches.
He was then dropped by Favre for the 1-0 defeat to Angers in a match that saw Bulka rejoin the team.
Schmeichel and Aaron Ramsey (second from right) were among a number of former Premier League players to join the French side – Favre said he was unhappy about his signings
Favre’s (pictured) managerial position is at risk with Mauricio Pochettino linked to the role
Favre, who only joined the club in the summer, now sees his job on the line, with former Tottenham and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino a strong contender to take on the role.
As reported by Sportsmail, Favre was not happy that the French side had signed a collection of Premier League dropouts over the summer.
In addition to Schmeichel, Ross Barkley and Aaron Ramsey were transferred for free, while Nicolas Pepe, Mads Bech Sorensen and Joe Bryan were hired from Arsenal, Brentford and Fulham respectively.
It hit a new low on Sunday when defender Jean-Clair Todibo was sent off after just nine seconds – unsurprisingly the fastest elimination in Ligue 1 history – and they fell to a 1-0 loss at home to Angers.
Favre’s ailing team was also beaten by Clermont, Marseille and Monaco, drawing draws against Toulouse and Strasbourg.
It was a difficult start for Schmeichel in Nice with his place in the line-up not guaranteed
It is a stark contrast to Leicester, where he is adored by their supporters after 11 years with the club, which saw the pinnacle of winning the Premier League in 2016
Meanwhile, Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man worth £6.33 billion, has been linked to a buyout of Manchester United from the hated Glazer family.
The official line is that the Americans will not sell the club, but Ratcliffe is one of the few people in the world who not only has the capital to buy them, but also has 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 were all in the Nice dugout in the intervening four years before the club’s hierarchy decided to return to Switzerland’s Favre.
His first stint with the French Riviera club was a success as he led them to the Champions League for the first time in modern times.