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May 20, 2014

Lyon rule out Juninho Pernambucano

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has ruled Juninho Pernambucano out of the running to be the club's new coach, with Herve Renard still favourite to succeed Remi Garde.

Juninho Pernambucano enjoyed a highly successful spell as a player with Lyon.
Juninho Pernambucano enjoyed a highly successful spell as a player with Lyon.

Despite having only recently ended his playing career, Juninho, 39, had said he hoped he may be selected to replace Garde at the head of the club where the former Brazil international won an unprecedented seven successive Ligue 1 titles.

However, due to new rules dictating top-flight coaches must have the appropriate qualifications to take charge of a team at that level, Aulas told RMC his former midfielder can take up a role with the club but not step directly into Garde's shoes.

"For Juni, unfortunately, I talked to him for a long time on the telephone to explain to him this new rule is a rule that applies to everyone," he said. "Next year, to coach in the top division, you have to have your badges, and all those who don't have that cannot speak in the press conferences or administrative organisations, so that's that. That means Juni can come back to Olympique Lyonnais, but not as coach."

Following Garde's announcement last Tuesday that he would not be extending his contract when it expires next month, Aulas has been actively seeking a successor.

While former France and Lyon boss Raymond Domenech and Claudio Ranieri, who is expected to leave Monaco this summer, have been mentioned as potential appointees, Renard, 45, reportedly heads Aulas' wishlist.

The former Zambia coach, who announced his departure from Sochaux following the club's relegation from Ligue 1 on Saturday, reportedly met Aulas in Paris last week and is set to speak to one of Lyon's major shareholders, Jerome Seydoux, this week.

"Among the names published, there are some who do not correspond to the profile we've defined, a profile that is exactly down the same line as that of Remi," Aulas said. "We want the coach to relay the strategy developed by the board. He has to be young, intelligent. I have done a huge amount of interviews."

Reims coach Hubert Fournier, 46, who played for Lyon for two years from 1998 and 2000, has also been reported as being under consideration while Willy Sagnol, 37, currently France under-21 boss, was described by Aulas as "a credible candidate."

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