Coming off an impressive World Cup performance where he started all three games and more than held his own against the likes of Brazil’s Antony, Serbia’s Dušan Tadić and Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri, it’s entirely possible that Nouhou is on the radar of some quality European teams. It’s also possible one of those teams might be willing to spend seven figures to secure a transfer.
However, there is no reason to believe that Ligue 1’s Lille is one of those teams, at least not based on the reports that have been circulating online recently.
Despite several reports citing nebulous “Cameroon media”, there is absolutely no reliable evidence that Lille has made any effort to sign Nouhou and certainly not for a package that could be as big as $8 million.
While unfounded rumors like this are not entirely uncommon in world football, what makes this one stand out a bit is the volume of these reports got high enough that a reputable French newspaper actually got Lille officials to deny them.
This is hardly the first time that Nouhou has been tenuously linked to reports of interested teams in Ligue 1. That’s because there is at least a hint of logic to them. For whatever his offensive limitations are, Nouhou is clearly a very good defender who has proven himself numerous times against some of the best attacking talents in the world. Antony merely joined a list that already included Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Man City’s Riyad Mahrez.
On paper, Lille also seems like the kind of team that would be interested in the French-speaking Nouhou. They are a solidly mid-table team who has shown a willingness to spend money on incoming transfers and plays with three centerbacks.
Unfortunately, Nouhou doesn’t quite fit the profile of player on whom they tend to spend money. Among the defenders they’ve signed in the last few seasons, all are at least a couple years younger than the 25-year-old Nouhou.
All that said, Nouhou is valued at about $3 million by Transfermarkt and I have no doubt the Sounders would be more than happy to accept a bid anywhere near that. The timing would not be ideal with competitive matches starting in about a month, but a fee like that would make finding a suitable replacement a lot easier.