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Lyon fire sale: 4 players who could leave the cash-strapped Ligue 1 side

Squawka News
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 18 Oct 2013, 09:22 IST
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Lyon

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas this morning admitted to Le Monde that missing out on qualification for the Champions League means that his side may be forced to sell a number of their better players in order to balance the books.

The holding company owning Lyon posted a €20m loss recently, which may have to be recouped through player sales. However, Aulas insisted that, despite a number of key players leaving last year, the club could hold on to their prized assets.

“There may be a number of sales, but not necessarily Clement Grenier. Maxime Gonalons or Alexandre Lacazette. This is part of the [implications of the] financial results. If we had been in the Champions League, we could balance without these additional sales. This does not mean that there will be no acquisitions, but there will be no significant acquisitions. “

With the news of a potential fire-sale likely to alert Premier League clubs, we take a look at four players who could make bargain moves to England.

Bafetimbi Gomis

Bafetimbi Gomis stats

A target for Newcastle in the summer the striker is out of contract at the end of the season, and could well move in January.

Unsettled at Lyon and unlikely to sign a new deal, Gomis has only scored one goal in five games this season following a 16-goal haul last season.

His move to Newcastle appeared to be a sure thing for most of the summer, but eventually collapsed over the strikers wage demands.

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However, with a reported cut-price fee of only €3m the Magpies may be more willing to meet his demands in January.

Yoann Gourcuff

Yoann Gourcuff stats

Seemingly linked with Arsenal in every transfer window since time began, Gourcuff could be another player to make a move.

One of the side’s key players, but not named by Aulas, Gourcuff has started the season with a Squawka Performance Score of 149. This puts him fourth in our rankings, following a start to the season that has seen him notch two goals, two assists and create a further seven unconverted chances for his team-mates.

This impressive haul from the attacking midfielder means that he has either scored or set up a chance once every 29 minutes so far this season.

A step up from last year, where he scored two goals and made 18 chances over 18 games, it would be no surprise to see Gourcuff move.

If the club are adamant on keeping the players named by Aulas, then Gourcuff is likely to command the next biggest transfer fee.

Samuel Umtiti

Samuel Umtiti stats

Only nineteen years old, defender Umtiti has already made 37 appearances for Lyon, including 26 in what was his breakthrough season last year.

A sweetly struck goal against Tottenham in the Europa league brought him to attention in England, reportedly attracting summer interest from West Ham, Spurs and Newcastle.

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Umtiti is an athletic full-back, who is strong in the tackle and can also play in a central defensive role. Last season he won 70% of his duals; a figure that includes 78% tackle success and 77% heading success.

Yet to make an international appearance, it is likely to only be a matter of time until the Frenchman makes the full squad, having represented his country at every level between under-17 and under-21.

Gueida Fofana

Gueida Fofana stats

Another young player, Fofana is a strong defensive midfielder. Also comfortable as a centre-back, Fofana has scored a higher Squawka Performance Score than all of his team-mates bar Grenier and Gonalons this season.

Averaging six defensive actions a game, and yet to miss a tackle in Ligue 1 this season, he is known for his physical style of play and has captained his country at all youth levels.

The former Le Havre midfielder has had to fill in at centre back this season, but made 84% of his passes and created three chances when played in midfield against Rennes recently – proving that he is more than a tough tackler.

Published 18 Oct 2013, 09:22 IST
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