L’Équipe report this afternoon that Foster Gillett – the son of former Liverpool owner George Gillett, is the best placed to become the new majority shareholder of Lyon, having reached an agreement with Jean-Michel Aulas during the week.
Aulas would remain president of the club, as he has been since 1987, for several more years. Aulas had been personally working on finding new investors following an announcement three months ago by Pathé and IDG Capital that they would be selling their respective 20% stakes.
Gillett’s offer, which is in the lead over three other American projects including that of Crystal Palace co-owner John Textor, is close to the €600m mark. Over €300m would go towards the aforementioned 20% stakes, while part of Aulas’ shares would also be bought. Added to these would be an immediate €100m injection of capital, as asked for from all of the takeover candidates.
Aulas will remain in charge of the club for roughly another three seasons in order to facilitate the transition. Gillett, himself a former director at Liverpool, will likely also want to be involved in the decision making and have part of his team on the ground as well.
The announcement is expected to come in the next ten days, as the final details are sorted out. Aulas himself declined to comment when asked by L’Équipe.