He was waiting, he was hoping, he didn’t see it coming. Fabien Lemoine, who reached the end of his contract at FC Lorient on June 30, has not received any extension offer, after five seasons in Morbihan, when he ardently wanted it. But the midfielder with nearly 500 professional matches, also spent with Rennes (2007-2011) and Saint-Étienne (2011-2017), cannot bring himself to end his career like this, motivated for a final challenge. . Even at 35.
“Three days from the end of the transfer window, what state of mind are you in?
I know that the more the days pass, the less it smells good. We must not hide it, even if I am free and I could always sign somewhere afterwards. If nothing happens at the end of the transfer window, hopes will be reduced a little more. But I want to enjoy it for at least another year. I’ve been training athletically for two months, and I’m physically fine. I didn’t mourn my career, I didn’t prepare for that.
“It was in the pipeline that I could leave for a year, with a different status, more in a role of “complementarity” of the workforce. I was ready for it, mentally and contractually.
VSow did the story end in Lorient?
Even though there were never any negotiations, I was hoping to extend. It was mentioned at the end of the season. It was in the pipeline that I could leave for a year, with a different status, more in a role of “complementarity” of the workforce. I was ready for it, mentally and contractually. So I went on vacation with a positive mindset. Then I understood that some things could be different with the appointment of a new coach and the desire to reduce the workforce.
Syears of concrete news from the club, haven’t you tried to look elsewhere?
I didn’t want to play on several fronts, because my priority was Lorient. Things dragged on and I missed out on some opportunities, like Amiens (L2) and Versailles (NOT), but there was nothing concrete, either. My regret is that, with the transfer window starting on June 9, I didn’t really start it until July 14. I lost more than a month.
You have met the new coach of Lorient, Régis Le Bris. What was the content of your discussions?
He first wanted to see all the players under contract and then he received me on July 6. He didn’t want to continue with me because of my age and my playing time last season, having suffered a calf injury (21 L1 matches, 13 starts). He told me that he would have liked to have known me five or ten years earlier. His vision of football corresponded to my profile, but he had fears and as he wanted to recruit… I told him: ” I respect your decision, but I do not validate it, because I do not agree. I can still bring, even differently. But, at least, you had the honesty to receive me and decide. ”
Subsequently, did you have any concrete offers?
I had a real offer from Guingamp (L2), the 15th of July. We talked for a few days, but they finally took (Warren) Tchimbembe (on loan from Metz, L2). If I had been in the market sooner…
Despite this tight timing, aren’t you surprised not to have had more offers, given your CV?
No, because I know where we live. I can understand some clubs. There is the context of last season, where I played less. And for many clubs, the budget was already tied up, the payroll at its maximum. I know where I went last season, I also had some personal problems. Without leaving in the skin of a holder, I fought and I started. Then I came back at the end of the season and it went very well. I wanted to prove that we could leave with me, that I had the level in this Championship.
“I miss the locker room, like the training sessions, the relationships with people…”
What are you ready to accept today?
I am ready to take up one last challenge, because I still want to experience beautiful emotions. I would like a club with certain infrastructures, a stadium with an atmosphere and a fairly ambitious project, to play the leading roles in Ligue 2, or even in National. I miss the locker room, like the training sessions, the relationships with people…
Have you set a deadline?
Everyone tells me to wait until the end of the winter transfer window. But if they don’t take me there, when I’m free, and there have already been a certain number of contested days… At some point, you have to know how to say stop. If, on September 30, after the truce, I have nothing, I will look at myself in the mirror, I will go and put away my crampons and I will think about what’s next.
The rest, precisely, should go through a return to FC Lorient, who is thinking of offering you a retraining …
We discuss and we made a lot of progress. Initially, for 12, 18 months, it would be a discovery of the different services to learn how a club works from the inside. I created a lot of links in Lorient. We will see the needs, what I can bring according to my skills, my experience. Nothing is defined yet. It could be around the development of the club, relations with partners…”