L’Équipe report that Ivorian international central defender and Manchester United man Eric Bailly heads up Lyon’s list of summer transfer window priorities.
The newspaper breaks down a myriad of likely changes at the Rhône club which include the likely departure of 25-year-old captain Nabil Fékir – the #10 has a gentlemen’s agreement with the club to leave this summer, with just one year left on his current deal by the time that we get to June.
Contract extension talks for the French international had begun when he was still with his former agent Jean-Pierre Bernès, but after Bernès and Fékir ended their relationship, talks have not restarted. Intermediaries have recently informed Nabil of interest from Juventus.
Lyon are preparing for another major summer departure – that of midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. The 22-year-old, under contract until 2023, has not explicitly asked to leave OL this summer, but does not lack interest: Juventus, PSG and Manchester United are amongst the sides adjudged to be courting the French international. Foot Mercato reported last night that the player’s representatives had recently held a positive meeting in Madrid with Real.
21-year-old defensive midfielder Lucas Tousart will also not be retained if a big enough offer comes in for the ex-Valenciennes man. Lyon have in the meantime identified a number of potential midfield signings: Djibril Sow (Young Boys), Ismaël Bennacer (Empoli) and Edimilson Fernandes (West Ham). Valentin Rongier (24) of FC Nantes has also been mentioned as a possibility.
Lyon’s other priority stands in the defensive department has they seek to bring in a top quality centre-back. 31-year-old vice-captain Marcelo will not be retained by the club in the event that offers come in. Internally, Swedish international Victor Lindelöf’s name has been thrown back into the mix. The 24-year-old is under contract with Manchester United until 2021, but Lyon’s attention has turned more squarely to Eric Bailly, also of the Red Devils, whose deal expires in June 2020. After a complicated campaign for the Premier League side, Manchester United will not seek to retain the Ivorian international, per the newspaper.
Elsewhere in the squad, Memphis Depay (25) looks for opportunities to exit Lyon, with Liverpool continuing to survey the situation. Attempts to extend the contract of 22-year-old winger Maxwel Cornet have recently failed, with the Ivorian joining forces in recent months with a German agency. Lyon have already identified Angers winger Flavien Tait as a potential recruit who can stand as a versatile attacking option.
The club on the contrary fully intends to retain the services of Houssem Aouar (20) and Martin Terrier (22) – Ferland Mendy (23) is on the shortlist of every top European club that is looking to sign a left-back, but is likely to be persuaded to stick around for at least another 12 months.
The final surprise potentially falls with current manager Bruno Génésio, who will step down from his current role when his contract expires in June. Rumours from inside the club suggest that the French tactician could be offered the role of Technical Director to stay at Lyon.