Lyon reject Gonalons interest
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed he has turned down bids, including one of more than €15 million, for captain Maxime Gonalons though reports in Italy claim Napoli have agreed terms with the France international.
Upon initial reports of talks with the Serie A club last week, OL swiftly published a statement denying any contact had been made and that Gonalons, 24, was part of a long-term strategy to base the team on players coming through the club's youth academy.
The player's agent, Frederic Guerra, insisted earlier this week neither he nor Gonalons had spoken to Napoli, but Tuttosport has claimed the two parties have reached an agreement on a five-year deal worth an estimated €2 million-a-year to the midfielder, a salary reportedly superior to that he receives at OL.
Aulas confirmed to French media there has been unwanted interest in his club captain and stressed his desire to keep the player.
"Unfortunately, there are several clubs who have made offers for him, one of which is more than €15 million. But he's part of our strategy. As far as I know, Max wants to stay at Lyon," the OL boss stated, adding: "I don't think Gonalons will leave this year"
The same cannot be said for other members of Remi Garde's squad with a number of candidates likely to join Dejan Lovren in leaving the club as OL attempt to boost their finances this summer.
While Fabian Monzon, who has started just two games following last summer's move from Nice, is set to move on after spending the last six months on loan at Fluminense, Jimmy Briand and top earner Yoann Gourcuff, who has been linked to Arsenal and Monaco, could also find themselves heading for new surroundings.
"Jimmy Briand has more chance of leaving us than staying," Aulas asmitted of the France international, whose aborted winter departure for Monaco has left him almost persona non grata at the Stade de Gerland. "Yoann is among those players who have not completely succeeded at Lyon. We haven't received offers for him, but we have talked to clubs about the possibility of him leaving."