Speaking for myself, the World Cup has taken over my life to the point that I barely remember OL exists. But then I check my phone and see the latest headlines, which usually imply that Lyon’s entire first team will be purchased by the end of the week.
Unfortunately for the rest of the world, Jean-Michel Aulas knows how to play the transfer game. He’ll find a way to sell you an empty bag of Doritos for five times the price he bought it for. If you negotiate well, you might get some chips still in the bag. Maybe.
As a long running Lyon fan, I got into OL when Michael Essien was still glamming it up in midfield, so I saw first hand (well, more like via internet across the ocean) how Aulas can drag out a transfer saga with as much drama and ill-grace as possible. This season, he’s barely started.
The rumor mill has slowed down due to the World Cup but will heat up by Monday morning . Take everything with a bowl of salt because anyone who knows anything will tell you that nothing is real. At least until it is.
The on again, off again rumors of Fekir going to Liverpool are returning with a vengeance. He’s reportedly asked to resume discussions about a possible summer transfer, and Aulas seems to be amenable. This is a few days after Aulas announced that Fekir was unlikely to move. Adding to the intrigue, Lyon extended the contract of Nabil’s brother, Yassin, to 2020, even though the club insists that one has nothing do with the other.
Word on the street is that Fekir failed his medical, but if that were the case, Liverpool wouldn’t still be sniffing around. My guess is that Aulas was hoping to raise the bid. Liverpool were willing to offer €68m, which would make Fekir the most expensive player ever sold at OL. However, with Real Madrid and Manchester United in the mix, a solid performance in the World Cup would have boosted his value even further. Unfortunately, Fekir has been a sub, so it’s doubtful that he’ll get any World Cup boost like Pavard surely will.
Opinion: Sell. OL will never get more money for Fekir than right now. His heart has already decided to leave, he’s thinks he can’t grow anymore at OL, and given the lack of any high profile transfers into the club, Fekir may not have confidence in Lyon’s title aspirations.
Nothing confirmed, but Inter Milan are keeping an eye on Tousart. However, it’s likely that Tousart will remain at OL least for another year.
Opinion: Keep. He can get better and is a good player when he’s not injured.
So far, everyone from Manchester United to Juventus have declared interest, but it’s been a lot of hot air and nothing concrete. He also extended his contract a few weeks ago (ok this doesn’t mean anything), but he just got here like 10 minutes ago, so it will be unlikely that Aulas will sell him just yet.
Our old pal Claude Puel has been sneaking peeks at Traoré from across the pond. Leicester are looking to replace the (possibly) outgoing Riyad Mahrez.
Opinion: Keep. Lyon paid a hefty sum for him, and it’s barely been a year. If OL sell him, Chelsea will also get a percentage of that sale. Traoré is not worth selling at this moment.
West Ham has reportedly made an offer for Marcelo to beef up their defenses. Marcelo himself hasn’t overtly said he’s interested, but West Ham would undoubtedly offer a higher salary, and he’s getting on in years, so if he’s going to move, it should be now. Lyon need a better CB, and given the profit they’ve been making, they should consider saying bye.
Opinion: Sell. Lyon need an upgrade if they want to get serious.
This dude tried the old “I’m not gonna show up to pre-season training because I want to be sold to Milan” trick. Aulas had none of it and fined his ass.
Opinion: Keep. As much as I’d like to label this one as a “Bye Felicia”, he’s a crucial player for Lyon who doesn’t command the same selling power as Fekir. It’s unlikely that Milan will offer even half as much for him, and given what OL paid for him, it would be a total loss.
He’s been linked with Barcelona over the past few weeks, but Mendy has stated his desire to stay and learn more. He feels he’s not quite ready for a bigger club, where he’d likely be a bench warmer at first. Plus he’s been loving it up with Aulas recently, so…
Opinion: Keep. No benefit to selling him, and the player doesn’t want to leave either.
If Fekir must leave, Herrera has been marked as a potential replacement. OL was rumored to have opened discussions with a €20m bid, but Porto want €40m. I personally think €20m is too much (it would also be one of Lyon’s biggest purchases ever), but for Porto is asking for twice that much. Who do they think they are, Lyon? Roma and Arsenal are also interested. Which is fine because we don’t want him anyway.
Opinion: Nope. Not worth the price tag.
Another replacement in the event of a Fekir sale, Lyon seem to like this guy. Playing for West Bromwich Albion, an English club in the second tier, a move to Lyon would be a definite step up. He sat out most of last year injured and despite his single stellar moment in the World Cup, could probably be purchased at a low price.
Opinion: Don’t buy. The player himself thinks he’s injury prone. He barely played last season, and while flashes of talent will peak through, it’s too risky.
Some other names in the mix are Hakim Ziyech, Simon Kjaer, Yerry Mina, and Mehdi Benatia. Oh, and also Hatem Ben Arfa (gag).