Monaco eye stake in Belgium’s Cercle Brugge as a development club

By Samindra Kunti

February 21 – French club Monaco have made an offer to buy a majority stake in Belgian First Division B club Cercle Brugge.

“AS Monaco FC confirms that it has made an offer (subject to certain conditions) to purchase a majority stake in the club Cercle Brugge KSV, who play in Belgium’s Ligue 1B,” read a statement on the club’s official website.

The move is a part of Monaco’s strategy to bring in young talents in Ligue 1. Belgium’s flexible rules allow clubs and investors to use the Belgian domestic scene as a player development lab.  Monaco’s technical director Filips Dhondt is the link between both clubs. In the 1990s he held the same position at Cercle Brugge. This season Brugge has four loan players from Monaco (Nardi, Benedinne, Diarra and Chérif).

“This project forms part of AS Monaco’s development strategy focused on young talent, and would give the club the benefit of expertise from the ‘Belgian school’, while respecting the traditions and values of Cercle Brugge, an historic club in Belgian football,” continued the statement.

“A general meeting of Cercle Brugge’s shareholders will examine the proposal in order to take a decision by the end of February,” added the statement.

First Division B is the second-highest league in Belgium’s football pyramid. Cercle Brugge are currently fifth in the standings. Monaco have been flying high in the French league courtesy of a prolific attacking  partnership between Radamel Falcao and Valere Germain. They top Ligue 1 on 59 points. Today the team from the principality take on Manchester City in the round of 16 of the Champions League.

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