First, L’Equipe reported that the signing of Ruben Dias was imminent. Everyone started making posters for his arrival at the airport. The Groupama cafeteria placed an online order for salted fish. I personally downloaded a Portuguese language app so I would be ready to comment on his Instagram.
Lyon fans were overjoyed. Finally, the defender we all deserved.
Negotiations over Ruben Dias have reached a point of no return.
Lyon have been stalking him for awhile, and it’s safe to say that everyone at the club is obsessed with him. Unlike Yerry Mina, who had garnered split opinions with Lyon’s recruiting cell, approval for Dias has been unanimous.
Aulas likes him, Genesio likes him, Florian Maurice likes him (he has a picture of Dias in his wallet), the fans like him, even the cafeteria lady likes him. So what’s the hold up?
We all saw the warning signs. Myziane Maolida, coming off a fantastic U19 campaign, was facing the prospect of another season at OL spent in the reserves. Lyon were already overloaded with attackers, and their recent if somewhat inexplicable signing of Reo Griffiths was the final nail in Maolida’s coffin.
In comes Nice to save the day. They made an offer that Lyon just couldn’t refuse, and next thing you know, Maolida is taking leisurely strolls down the French Riviera.
Nearly two months into the transfer window, and all there is to show are a bunch of half-baked rumors plus a lot of interview clips with Jean-Michel Aulas straight up lying to everyone’s faces.
As discussed ad nauseum, Lyon need at least one, if not two central defenders. Marcelo will likely leave, and that will leave Jeremy Morel as the senior CB. His partners will be two kids just promoted from the B team.
While we’re waiting to find out who OL’s mystery targets are, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and recount some of the horrific purchases Aulas has made.
Don’t get me wrong, I have utmost confidence in Jean-mimi. He’s the guy who took a Ligue 2 club and transformed them into European contenders.
Lyon may have lost some of its glamour since PSG and Monaco changed citizenship, but no other club has been as consistent since its entry to the top flight. And since winning their first title in 2002, they have ranked in the top three in all but three seasons (4th in 2012, 5th in 2014, 4th in 2017).
What does that mean? Money, of course. Higher rankings means a bigger share of broadcasting revenue, not just from the LFP but also from UEFA.
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.