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Notable omissions from our Top 50

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No. 40: Marouane Fellaini, Man Utd

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No. 39: Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal

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No. 38: Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea

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No. 37: Robin van Persie, Man Utd

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Lyon forced into sales

Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas concedes three first-team players will have to be sold in the next two transfer windows to raise €30 million, as the club seek to balance their books.

Despite Aulas hailing the club's recent cost-cutting operations, the financial results for the 2011-12 fiscal year, released on Tuesday, revealed a net loss of €28 million.

Lyon sold a string of key players over the summer to aid their cause, including Hugo Lloris and Aly Cissokho, but with the club still working on the construction of their new Stade des Lumieres, Aulas accepts more sacrifices will have to be made.

"We plan to sell three players, two in the winter transfer window and another in the summer window, for €30 million euros,'' he told L'Equipe.

"This will reduce the payroll and the number of active players.

"For some, the negotiations are well advanced but could not be concluded before the end of the last window.''

Striker Bafetimbi Gomis and winger Michel Bastos were both linked with moves away ahead of August's transfer deadline, to Al-Ain and Fulham respectively, and may be considered for the exit door in January.

Aulas spoke last month on the club's economic status, giving the impression that the bad times were behind them.

"We are not poor," he said. "This was not a question of life or death, but an obligation of good management."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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