CF Montreal: Olivier Renard does not intend to move
Midway through the Major League Soccer (MLS) season, CF Montreal sits first in the Eastern Conference. Well satisfied with the performance of his group, the team’s sporting director, Olivier Renard, does not intend to move during the summer transfer window.
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“If there is no departure, I am not sure there will be arrivals. […] We are happy with what we have so far. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to improve. If there are departures, we will react,” said the Belgian at a press conference on Friday.
If he had to make an addition, Renard wouldn’t turn to a big name just for fun. At Los Angeles FC and Toronto FC, Gareth Bale and Lorenzo Insigne are the latest two stars to join the ranks of MLS, but that’s not what the Montreal XI needs right now.
“Taking a designated player to fill the stadium is not what we want. We want a designated player who fits with the team, who does exactly what the coach asks, like all players. We don’t want a difference between the designated player and the minimum wage player. He has to run and train like the others, and that’s not always easy to find,” explained the man who was recently confirmed in his position by the club.
In terms of sales, Renard does not exclude anything.
« Players are sometimes like stocks on the stock market: you have to know how to sell them at the right time, » he said, adding that he did not want to affect his team’s level of play.
A good atmosphere
According to the athletic director, CF Montreal would have around $400,000 available under the salary cap. He’s had some very good deals within MLS itself, including adding Djordje Mihailovic, Alistair Johnston and Mason Toye since 2020, and would be willing to loosen the purse strings for another young player should the opportunity arise.
“When you’re sure about an inside player, you’re not afraid to put the money where it’s needed,” he said.
Renard is also happy to see that no member of the Bleu-Blanc-Noir wants to leave Montreal. Wilfried Nancy’s group is more mature this season, which allows them to seek better results.
« There are no players currently asking to leave, whether they play or not, » he said. It means that there is a good atmosphere in the locker room and that everyone is focused on our sporting objectives. Everyone is in the same boat.”
The role of veterans
While young people are his priority, the 43-year-old recognizes that veterans like Victor Wanyama and Kei Kamara play a huge role in the squad. For now, the plan is to bring them back next season.
Striker Mason Toye, defender Joel Waterman and head coach Wilfried Nancy have been included on the MLS Team of the Week. CF Montreal returns to action on Monday against the Los Angeles Galaxy.