Leeds poised to land Carole
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Leeds are close to signing Brighton winger Sebastien Carole on a free transfer.
Leeds United are close to signing Brighton & Hove Albion winger Sebastien Carole on a free transfer.
Last season's beaten Championship play-off finalists have triggered a clause in Carole's contract which allows him to move for nothing.
Following Brighton's relegation to League One, the South Coast club are powerless to prevent the Frenchman leaving on a free.
Though he has 12 months remaining on his Withdean contract, he now seems likely to sign a two or three-year deal with The Whites.
Brighton boss Mark McGhee is disappointed with Carole's decision to join Leeds - against whom he scored at Elland Road last season.
"I am very disappointed," McGhee told The Argus. "We gave Seb the opportunity to come here and be part of the team.
"Regardless of that clause the decent thing for him to do would have been to stay, at least at the start of the season."
Seagulls chairman Dick Knight insists the clause had to be inserted into Carole's contract to ensure the exciting wide man moved to The Withdean Stadium from Monaco in the first place.
Knight said: "If that clause hadn't gone in then Seb's wages over the two years would have been higher and the signing-on fee would have been more, so it was a no-brainer.
"If we'd had to buy him on the open market he would have cost around £350,000.
"We fought hard to keep him, but the agent has persuaded Seb to go."
Carole's compatriot Alex Frutos has a similar clause in his Brighton contract, but Knight is hoping he can persuade the midfielder to sign a revised deal.
He added: "I'm in the process of making a new offer to Alex. We want to keep him and I'm reasonably confident."