Lyon centre-back Castello Lukeba (20) is set to join RB Leipzig in a €35m deal after Lyon’s American owner John Textor agreed to let him go to the Bundesliga side, according to a report from L’Equipe. The 20-year-old had set his heart on a move to the Red Bull-owned outfit at the very beginning of this summer transfer window. However, Lyon were adamant they could convince their highly-rated prospect to renew his contract, which expires in June 2025. Textor and Lukeba met on Tuesday and the U21 French international reiterated his stance to Textor, demanding to leave, having sent Textor a text message with the same request the week before and failing to get a straight answer from him. Following the in-person meeting, Textor reportedly understood that the centre-back had no longer Lyon on his mind and green-lit a move to RB Leipzig.
Lukeba is therefore not expected to take part in Lyon’s Ligue 1 opening day at Strasbourg away on Sunday. L’Équipe understand that Les Gones have yet to decide on whether or not to replace the departing Lukeba, considering that the Ligue 1 side’s transfer activity and wage bill are being monitored by the DNCG after the financial control body sanctioned them for “financial irregularities.” Lyon are set to bank close to €35m for the sale of Lukeba. Leipzig have shown insistence in signing the U21 French international, who is viewed as the ideal replacement for Joško Gvardiol. This urge became more significant for the Bundesliga side in recent hours as they are set to be without centre-back El Chadaille Bitshiabu for an extended period due to a knee ligament injury.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval