Maxime Chanot officially leaves club due to home and family

-Rumors have been swirling over the last few days that Maxime Chanot was leaving NYCFC

-The club officially confirmed on Tuesday that the captain would be leaving

Maxime Chanot of NYCFC
Maxime Chanot of NYCFC / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, New York City FC announced that Maxime Chanot is leaving the club. The veteran is moving to AC Ajaccio in Ligue 2, France's second tier of football. The news comes as a shock, for many fans thought he would finish his career in New York.

The rumors began swirling a few days ago after the center-back was left out of the squad for the match against FC Cincinnati. Earlier, it was confirmed to Skyscraper Blues that he would indeed be leaving. The club felt it was the right time, especially with the recent acquisition of Birk Risa.

Maxime Chanot officially leaves NYCFC

However, per the release by NYCFC, the reason for Chanot's departure was due to family. He had a chance to return home to France, and he took it. He said the following about his decision:

"I have made the difficult decision to go back home to Corsica. I left home when I was 14, it has been almost 20 years, and I was presented with the opportunity to play in front of my family, which I have never done. Until this opportunity arose, I never thought I would leave New York City, I love it here and have had the best years of my life here. When I first signed, I made a promise to only leave the Club after helping bring a championship to this great City and its passionate fans and believe I have delivered on that promise."

Maxime Chanot

It was interesting that Chanot described Corsica as home, for he was born in Nancy, France. Moreover, he was never near the island or even South of France at any point in his career. Perhaps that might be home for his family at this point and time. Nonetheless, he will be returning to France, so that will make it easier for his loved ones to see him play.

Meanwhile, Sporting Director David Lee added to the context of the move. He stated the following:

"We understand this was an extremely difficult and emotional decision for Maxime and his family. While we would have preferred to wait until the end of the season, we felt it was right to accept the wishes of a player that has given us such great service over the years. Ultimately, we understand this was a unique opportunity for him, and one that wouldn’t have existed if we hadn’t accepted now."

David Lee

Since the transfer window closes on Friday in France, some might have thought Chanot would have been given a farewell during Wednesday's game. Alas, that is not happening. Instead, the club legend leaves after 199 overall appearances. He was just shy of 200.

There was quite a bit of speculation on X as well, and the rumors about why he left continue to spread like wildfire. There likely is more to the story, which will be examined in a later piece.

For now, fans can at least have hope this was not a goodbye, but see you later. Chanot posted his first tweet since 2019, and while cryptic, it appears he is trying to tell fans he will be back down the road. For those who cannot see the tweet, it is a picture of him with a certificate of a United States coaching license in front of the club crest.

Will Chanot return to New York City FC? Only time will tell...