After a summer of speculation for Lille midfielder Thiago Maia, the Brazilian has remained with Lille despite receiving numerous lifelines elsewhere. There were reports late in the English transfer window that Newcastle were close to an agreement for the 22-year-old.
It was claimed that it was up to Thiago to chose between joining Genoa or Newcastle. However, nothing happened on either front. In late August, Sampdoria jumped in the fray for the midfielder as well. Thiago has decided to remain at Lille.
There is a report in La Voix Du Nord that says that Maia did not want to leave the Ligue 1 club because it had qualified for Champions League football.
Lille manager Christophe Gaultier, who was once linked as an Alan Pardew replacement, has managed to get Lille into the Champions League by finishing second last season. That was despite taking over a struggling side halfway through the season before when they just survived relegation to finish 17th.
The fact that Lille are now in the Champions League seems to have influenced Thiago Maia’s decision to remain at the club. However, it has not changed the fact that Gaultier just does not rate the midfielder.
After starting only 11 games in Ligue 1 last season, Maia has played just 44 minutes for Lille this season. He may get his Champions League football, but he’ll most likely be watching it from the sidelines.