February 14th, 2017
Heartbreak on Valentines day for Stephane Badji. According to Het Neiuwsblad, the same newspaper that reported the initial contact between clubs, the deal to bring Stephane Badji on loan to NYCFC is dead.
The deal which was quickly set in motion following a call from Patrick Vieira, following news that their move for Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe had been rejected, has shown no recent signs of life.
Het Neiuwsblad reports that the first issue arose when Badji’s current work visa would not have allowed him to leave for the US immediately. The Senegalese midfielder is on a work visa allowing him to play for Anderlecht. NYCFC are no strangers to the long process comes with work visas with recent additions Alexander Callens and Alexander Ring both still awaiting their visas before they can join the team in Tucson for pre-season.
After the reported issues with his visa, NYCFC seem to have cooled their interest around the same time news broke that Yangel Herrera was headed to NYCFC.
Further clouding the picture for Badji was the performance of 16 year old James Sands. The U-17 center back was named to the starting roster as a central defensive midfielder for NYCFC’s friendly against Emelec and earned high praise from Patrick Vieira. With Sands’ standout performance there was even less incentive for NYCFC to pursue Badji.
While it’s unknown whether any of these events determined the outcome of the deal, what is known is that Badji is in a tough situation. Having been left out of the starting 18 since news of the impending move broke, and already being deemed surplus to requirements, the 26 year old midfielder finds himself far down the Anderlecht depth chart with most transfer windows closed.
NYCFC will look elsewhere for their starting central defensive midfielder.