Transfer news

Vainqueur spurns Premier League

July 2, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent, Kristan Heneage

Having decided to spurn Premier League advances, William Vainqueur has re-signed for Standard Liege just four days after it was revealed he had ended his contract with the Belgian club.

William Vainqueur joined Standard Liege from Nantes in 2011
GettyImagesWilliam Vainqueur has made one appearance for the France Under-21s

After initially signing a five-year deal when he arrived at Standard in 2011, Vainqueur, 24, was reported to have taken advantage of a 1978 Belgian law allowing him to unilaterally put an end to his contract only last weekend, sparking interest from Cardiff City, Everton, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, according to ESPN sources.

However, the ex-Nantes midfielder, voted player of the season by Standard fans after the last campaign, put pen-to-paper on a new four-year deal, which reportedly included a significant pay increase, in Liege on Tuesday morning after discussions with Standard chairman Roland Duchâtelet the previous day.

"It's clearly very good news for Standard Liege when a key player extends his contract and shows his desire to participate in the club's ambitious project, " Standard sporting director Jean-François De Sart told the club's official website.

"More than the simple extension, the ambitions of both parties are in perfect accord: to challenge at the top of Belgian football! William's values - desire, commitment, total investment - are also those that we want to see in the team. It's also important to continue the adventure with major players who already know the club well."

Vainqueur's apparent sudden change of heart has echoes of the confused situation in which he joined Standard two years ago. Having initially announced he was to be loaned to Nancy by Nantes in late August, his move north of the border on a permanent deal was made public just two days later.