The saga surrounding the future of Anthony Modeste is finally over, as 1. FC Köln confirm he has left the club to join Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian.
The move had appeared to have fallen through a couple of weeks ago, however the joy for Köln fans was short-lived as the move returned to the table over past few days.
The Billy Goats confirmed his departure in a short statement on Wednesday evening. They are expected to eventually receive around €35 million from Tianjin for his services, although he will initially only move on a loan deal.
The end of the soap opera
After scoring 25 goals in his second season for Köln, Modeste’s departure has seemed inevitable for some time. However his proposed move to China looked off when Köln pulled out of the deal, reportedly due to Tianjin wanting to pay in instalments rather than all at once, as Köln preferred.
However the club’s sporting director Jörg Schmadtke confirmed reports on Friday that the deal was back on, with the French striker released from their pre-season training camp later that day.
As negotiations rumbled into this week, there was a further twist on Tuesday as Modeste filed a law suit against the club, hoping to gain an injunction which would allow him back into training with them.
The proceedings were announced by the Cologne Employment Tribunal, and later confirmed by Schmadtke, who said it was Modeste’s “right” to pursue, but that it was “unusual” for the public to be informed of the proceedings before any notice had been given to the club. A hearing that had been set for Thursday has now been cancelled.
Transfer initially a two-year loan
The end is finally in sight with Köln announcing the transfer is set to go through. In their statement, they said that Modeste would “continue his career in China” and that “all relevant parties were in agreement.” They thanked Modeste for his contribution to the club and wished him luck for his future.
He is expected to fly to China on Thursday to complete the formalities of the deal. According to Kicker, he will only sign on loan initially due to “financial reasons,” at the request of Tianjin. It is reported by Bild that Köln will receive €6 million for a two-year loan, with a binding purchase for at least €29 to follow in 2019.
The 29-year-old had joined the Billy Goats from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in 2015. He failed to miss a match in either the Bundesliga or DFB-Pokal over the following two years, scoring 40 goals in a total of 73 games.
The 25 league goals he scored in the last league campaign helped guide Köln into the UEFA Europa League, their first foray into European competition in 25 years. Modeste will play no part in that though, but can now look forward to earning a salary of €11 million in China.
Quotes via Express and 1. FC Köln.