Fans were caught completely off-guard earlier this week when reports surfaced that star center back Maxime Chanot was looking to depart New York City FC following the end of the 2017 MLS season in favor of returning to Belgium. The original report - done by Het Laatste Nieuws - claimed that Chanot’s European return would be for family reasons.
These claims, however, have been denied by the man himself.
According to EmpireofSoccer.com, Chanot has refuted rumors of any European return and is open to signing a new deal with New York City if given the chance.
Maxime Chanot refuted reports stating he wanted to leave. Chanot said he's happy in NYC and is open to signing a new deal with #NYCFC.— ah- (@Christian_Araos) September 20, 2017
As the player explained:
“When you are football player, you have to deal with rumors. It’s a part of your job. We have to deal with it as professional athletes and sometimes the best way is to avoid an answer or otherwise you cannot focus on your football but in this case, I think the best way is to answer this rumor because this rumor is totally wrong. I don’t know where it came from and that’s why I’m here to clarify the situation.”
An earlier report by TheNYCFCNation.com stated that upon Chanot’s arrival last season, he inked a 2 1⁄2 year deal with NYCFC which would effectively keep him under contract through the end of 2018. Any such move to Europe would require the Bronx Blues to either sell him or end the contract by mutual consent.
Obviously, one could not deny Chanot’s contributions this season. In 1,710 minutes, the Luxembourg defender has logged 4 defensive clean sheets with 2 goals, and has averaged 1.3 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per appearance in 19 games. Combine that with the fact that he is still in his athletic prime at 27 years old, and you have all the reason why New York City should do their best to hold onto him.
Chanot is currently recovering from a pelvic injury he sustained in August which required surgery, with Frederic Brillant filling in at the right center back position. NYCFC Nation’s report stated that he could return as soon as October’s international break.