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NYCFC defender Maxime Chanot
Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Maxime Chanot is being linked to a move to AC Ajaccio in France’s Ligue 2.

The New York City FC defender didn’t travel with the team over the weekend to face FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium, and head coach Nick Cushing was cagey when asked why the regular starter didn’t even make the game-day squad. Now it seems that Chanot might have remained in New York City in advance of a transfer to Europe.

Earlier today, Flavien Trésarrieu wrote a short piece for French sports journal L’Equipe that reports that Chanot “va signer á l’AC Ajaccio.” He also posted on the site formerly known as Twitter that Chanot will join AC Ajaccio on a contract that will keep him at the club through 2025.

Chanot is the longest-serving player in the history of NYCFC. The 33-year-old defender joined the club in 2016, and became a foundational player for the team’s rise from an under-performing expansion side to a title-winner.

This year, the defender has been one of the few steady performers in what is shaping up to be one of the most disappointing seasons in the club’s young history. Chanot is a mainstay of the Starting XI, and often serves as the team captain.

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But NYCFC added a new center-back during the summer transfer window in Birk Risa, a 26-year-old left-footed central defender with exceptional passing skills. In the 3-0 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday, NYCFC head coach Nick Cushing played a back-three with Risa, Thiago Martins, and Tayvon Gray. The addition of Risa allows the club to let Chanot go.

NYCFC have not issued a statement regrind Chanot.

AC Ajaccio compete in Ligue 2 after relegation from Ligue 1 last year. While the summer transfer window is closed in MLS, it remains open in France until September 1.

For the moment, Chanot’s departure remains a rumor. We will update this post as new information becomes available.

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UPDATED AUGUST 28, 9:43 AM ET: Daily newspaper Corse Matin reports that Chanot will leave New York City today and arrive in Ajaccio tomorrow afternoon. The newspaper further said that Chanot will bolster an Ajaccio back line that lost defenders  Fernand Mayembo etand Oumar Gonzalez in the offseason.

UPDATED AUGUST 29, 8 AM ET: AC Ajaccio posted a tease on X that all but confirms Chanot’s transfer from the club, though no official announcement has yet been made.

UDPATED AUGUST 29, 11:17 AM ET: Chanot’s departure officially confirmed by NYCFC.

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