Wilfried Nancy. Romell Quioto. Victor Wanyama. If things are as they are, the contracts of these three major CF Montreal players will expire next December.
Posted at 6:00
But Olivier Renard supports patience. Particularly because Nancy and Quioto still have one-year options attached to their agreements.
“We have time”, explains the sporting director and vice president of the club during a forty-minute interview with The printThursday.
We are in one of the classrooms of the Nutrilait Center. Outside, the club’s training has just begun. Renard discusses his calm tone that we have come to know during more than three years spent in Montreal.
This is what I said to Romell, as to many other players: I am not discussing player contracts now. I know the players, I was like them. If you argue now, you will change your mind.
He wants “everyone to finish the season well to go as far as possible”.
“We will have time in the off season to see what we do with X, Y, Z. They have options. Having an option is a contract. ”
Apply the same logic to his coach. Although the latter led this team on a shoestring budget to third place in the east, as of press time.
You don’t have to believe that Wilfried and I don’t talk to each other. Of course we talk. He knows my vision for the future, I know about him. He is relaxed. I’m relaxed too. […] He knows I’m very happy with his work.
So why not confirm this satisfaction by extending his contract beyond the one-year option? So did Olivier Renard himself in 2021, after two consecutive defeats, while Wilfried Nancy still had the label of interim head coach.
“It is not because we are now very happy with the staff that I will suddenly give a five-year contract,” he points out. I never will. Let’s see what happens. We are very confident and happy. […] I want to see the team improve. Improving player potential. And then we discuss it. It hasn’t expired.
In the past the club has had situations where they had to pay multiple coaches at the same time due to expulsions. I’m not saying Wil will be fired. It is not that at all. But in the future, you never know. ”
Victor Wanyama, “a lovely person”
Victor Wanyama’s case is a little more complicated. He has no options on the designated player’s contract. His salary weighs heavily on the payroll. And despite his he pillar status as a defensive midfielder, at 31, he’s not even getting any younger.
“These are discussions I must have with him, assures Renard. It will happen soon. Victor is a lovely person in the locker room. He brought many things. ”
If the sports director notes with satisfaction that Wanyama “plays 95% of the games”, he qualifies by speaking of his “age” and his “investment price”.
Does the club still prefer to invest for this same position when we may already have other players who can play? Do we keep Victor because he’s an important person in the locker room? We have already weighed the pros and cons of this. After that, it’s up to me and Victor to talk about it. ”
“There are several clubs on Ishmael”
Our interview with Olivier Renard takes place minutes after Ismaël Koné confirmed Norwich’s interest in him at a press conference. A rumor that had emerged a few weeks ago.
The sports director insists that he cannot talk about Norwich. Although he adds in the wake of “never having had a deal with a club”.
Koné said he was “grateful” for this first offer received from a European club. Fox corrects him.
I know it’s not the first club already. There are several clubs on Ismaël, just as there are many clubs on other players with us.
“The transfer window is not closed yet, warns the director, referring to the fact that players can still leave the MLS. […] We had other offers for him from other clubs as well. This is the truth. ”
He adds that he will never stop a player from “following his dreams”, “because everyone [en serait] loser”.
“But the player knows he won’t be starting for the price of a bottle of sparkling water. ”
“Take the time not to take anyone”
Olivier Renard was discreet in the summer market. But he still acquired a striker, Chinonso Offor from the Chicago Fire, by last week’s deadline.
“He is a player I knew from Europe before,” said the sporting director. He could have come here even before Chicago. But there was a transfer price that was close to a million dollars. And there it became an opportunity because the transfer is almost entirely paid for by Chicago. ”
He describes him as a “bigger”, “taller” and perhaps “more explosive” striker than Romell Quioto. “He’s fast too.”
We’ve already written: Offor’s arrival is part of a longer-term project than just ending the season here. Among other things, because the group of attackers is already well supplied. Which means Wilfried Nancy’s team didn’t necessarily improve before the playoffs.
If we ask the manager the question, obviously he would like to have players who make more of a difference, or a very specific position. We know and I know. But perhaps looking for an average player, with the budget we currently have, in a position where we can strengthen ourselves for next year, I preferred to take the time to not take anyone. Except on the last day, where Offor’s opportunity was. ”
Development according to Olivier Renard
“I don’t care what other people do”
Olivier Renard insists and signs: CF Montreal is not worth joining MLS Next Pro, this new development circuit organized by MLS.
And this, even if next year Bleu-et-noir will become the only team in the league not to be part of it.
“I’ll believe it a bit, but I don’t care what others do, he loses his ds during an interview with The print. I know how much it costs to do this category, when we can very well train our players in another way and it costs us less. ”
The first season of MLS Next Pro is underway. There are 21 teams, of which about fifteen are the reserve formations of the MLS clubs. The average age of the players is 21.
CF Montreal, meanwhile, chooses to play with their young players in their backyard. His U23 team plays in the Premier League Soccer of Quebec (PLSQ), a semi-professional circuit.
A decision that raised eyebrows in the beginning, Olivier Renard recalls. But even today he doesn’t move. Especially since the Montreal team does not dominate too much: it is ranked 5And ranking out of 12, with 7 wins in 13 games.
Everyone laughed at the PLSQ. I have seen some games where our young players were ridiculous. Before you think you will be playing against amateurs, well, first of all you have to win all your games. Then maybe the club will say that this category is not a category for our young people.
“The truth must be told. We don’t have 25 U23 talents who will all become MLS starters.
“The good players, we follow them. I know it’s not the biggest competition. But we, as a club, it already costs us a few million less not to organize the MLS Next Pro. Even if it would also be a return of money, to be honest. ”
Olivier Renard even states that some teams tell him today that “maybe he made the right choice”.
“Become another person”
The sports director talks about money to justify his decision. But not only.
In addition to the PLSQ, there is also the Canadian Premier League (PLC), where he can loan out some good talent. An interesting way, which allows these players in particular to acquire a “personality”.
“My choice also stems from the fact that I know we don’t have 25-30 players ready to make the first team. There are five or six that we can lend to PLC. With this done, to move. This is what people forget. Because with the MLS Next Pro, people would stay here in Montreal. “
Me, I love it when they go build their character somewhere else. That they become not only professional players, but adults.
He gives the example of defender Karifa Yao, on loan to the Calgary Cavalry. From goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois, with Winnipeg Valor. And striker Sean Rea, in the same Manitoba club. These three players could make their mark in Montreal as early as next year.
“The Sean Rea of now is not the Sean Rea of last year, Renard points out, a statement that he also attaches to the other two. He was asked to be more decisive, with more assists and more goals. ”
“Players like that, who are from Montreal, still with mum and dad, still in the cocoon, become men when they go there. Having to be able to eat alone, be alone in the evening, without the family. You become another person. ”
The Woobens Pacius case
And speaking of PLC, there’s another Montreal talent that’s turning heads right now. Striker Woobens Pacius, who plays for Hamilton Forge, has scored 10 goals this year and ranks second among the top scorers.
Pacius is a former Impact Academy member who was invited to retire before the 2021 season, but did not reach an agreement with CF Montreal.
“We knew the qualities of Woobens, assures Renard. I’ll also tell the truth: I participated trying to find him a club. He was returning from two fairly serious injuries and deserved to play. ”
Like Joel Waterman, the first player to make the leap from PLC to MLS, does Pacius have the potential to join the big leagues?
“Will he come back to us one day? Perhaps. We will see. Will he continue in another MLS club? We maintain the rights of the player. […] But not everyone can play with us either. “