After the failed marriage four years ago, custody of the children now… The Racing 92-Stade Français derby will not take place this Saturday evening in Nanterre, in the Paris La Défense Arena venue, but it has found another way to talk about him.
The sky and white players, cloistered at home as a contact case since two positive tests for Covid-19 flourished in the first line of Bordeaux-Bègles - which eliminated them on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Coupe d ' Europe (24-21) - will wait until the weekend of May 1 to take on their rivals in the capital.
They will do it with a new little brother… from the Parisian ranks.
Gaël Fickou, the three-quarter international center of the Stade Français (27 years old, 63 caps) whose transfer to Racing had been recorded last month for the next four seasons, should finally arrive next week, according to information from RMC of which we have had confirmation.
A player tossed between two rival clubs
"This derby, I'm going there to give myself 1000%," Gaël Fickou confided to us on Wednesday.
I remain with a taste of unfinished business on this passage at the Stade Français, even if I have not yet left.
I love this club, but I couldn't get what I was looking for there.
Racing was the only opportunity I liked.
It will be a great challenge.
But I'm still focused on the end of the season with Stade Français.
"This Thursday at noon, at a press conference, he said again, after the announcement of the postponement:" We are preparing to play this match as quickly as possible.
We did not play for two weeks
(Editor's note: March 27 against Clermont)
, we are chomping at the bit.
I am keen to play a big game in this derby.
Behind the scenes, the negotiations seem to have caught on.
A regulation laid at the right time
If the transfer was accelerated, or even precipitated, it is because it benefited from a new regulation enacted last week by the National League, now chaired by René Bouscatel with in particular as vice-president Thomas Lombard, the general manager of the Parisian club.
Given the health context, a recruitment period has been opened on an exceptional basis from April 9 to 30, during which each club can recruit a player (medical joker or additional player).
Nothing illegal then.
"A timely modification of the rules", slips a close to Racing.
A conclusion that suits everyone
On the one hand, the Stade Français, in search of savings, has sportingly little to hope or fear in Top 14, 9th to 7 points from 6th qualifying place for the final phase.
On the other hand, Racing 92 has lost its center and emblematic captain Henry Chavancy (dislocated of a shoulder).
The Ile-de-France club, 3rd 4 points behind La Rochelle, runner-up to Toulouse, is aiming for a direct qualification for the semi-finals (the top two in the standings) and it will need reinforcement in the home stretch.
The timely proposal of the Parisian leaders interested their counterparts in Hauts-de-Seine.
And if nothing had yet been signed this Thursday evening, Fickou should be a Racing player in the coming hours.
During a Facebook live this Thursday evening, the sports director of the Stade Français Thomas Lombard said that if this transfer was confirmed, the international center would not play the derby, postponed to the weekend of May 1.
A “gentlemen's agreement” across the board.