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Nice face a season of struggle


Gonalons 'not spoken to Napoli'

Maxime Gonalons' agent says that the Lyon captain has had no contact with Napoli coach Rafael Benitez nor the club itself.

Gonalons has been linked with a move to Monaco
Maxime Gonalons will start pre-season training with Lyon on Thursday

- Napoli snap up Mertens

L'Equipe reported last week that Gonalons, 24, would soon be the subject of a €12 million bid from Napoli following talks between his agent, Frederic Guerra, and representatives of the Serie A club.

The report prompted the Ligue 1 side to take the unusual step of issuing a press release to express their surprise at the information and reiterate their determination to hold on to the France international.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas also warned Guerra via Twitter not to "tour round all the clubs" this summer, and it seems Gonalons' representative has taken heed.

"I've seen Gonalons, who's just come back from holiday in the Bahamas. We had lunch together, spoke a little, but I can't tell you what was said," he told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli. "I've had no news. I've not spoken to the club."

Guerra added that an insurmountable language barrier meant Gonalons had not held talks with Benitez.

"The player hasn't spoken to him as he speaks neither English nor Italian," he said.

Along with fellow Lyon youth academy products Clement Grenier and Alexandre Lacazette, Gonalons, who was handed the captain's armband during the winter break by coach Remi Garde, forms the cornerstone of the club's newly-established policy of building their team around homegrown talent - a policy that was publicly reaffirmed in last week's press release.

"I can't say what the player thinks [of the press release]," Guerra said. "He'll start pre-season training with Lyon on Thursday."


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