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Sep 9, 2013

Bafetimbi Gomis won't stay at Lyon

Bafetimbi Gomis has told Canal+ he will not extend his contract at Lyon as he remains "disappointed" by the club's treatment of him this summer.

Bafetimbi Gomis' Lyon career had looked to be over.
Lyon were unable to move Gomis out of the Stade de Gerland during the transfer window.

Though he finished last season as the club's leading scorer, Gomis ordered to train on his own and play for the reserve team as OL sought a buyer for the France international striker, who is in the final year of his contract.

With the summer window closing without the 28-year-old moving on as his mooted move to Newcastle United failed to materialise, and with Lyon off-loading Lisandro Lopez in the meantime, the forward has been brought back into Remi Garde's squad. However, the scars of his ordeal at the hands of OL president Jean-Michel Aulas, who publicly and forcefully stated his desire to see Gomis leave in order for the club to make some money back on the €15 million they paid Saint-Etienne for him in 2009, are far from healed.

"The manner in which I found myself in the reserves really disappointed me and troubled me," said Gomis, who was even prevented from playing matches for the reserve team for fear he would get injured and scupper a transfer. 

"After what has been done and said, notably that I wasn't part of the economic and sporting project, I can't see myself talking about a contract extension, and I don't think I'll extend my adventure with Lyon."

Gomis' future at the Stade de Gerland has been uncertain for the last 12 months with the athletic striker reportedly turning down moves to Rubin Kazan and Fulham prior to this summer, during which Marseille made an approach.

Following advice from France coach Didier Deschamps, Gomis came closest to swelling the Francophone ranks of Newcastle United having spoken to Alan Pardew and agreed terms. However, despite Lyon accepting the Magpies' offer of €8 million with a €2 million bonus, the deal fell through with Gomis unwilling to make a financial sacrifice to help out OL.

"I had agreed things with Newcastle," he said. "I had targeted two clubs after having talked to the national team coach, who had given me his point of view. He told me Newcastle was a club where there were already quite a lot of French players who were in the national team. As Marseille weren't able to reach a deal with Lyon, I talked to the coach of Newcastle, we reached an agreement, and there was then a discussion with Lyon.

"There was an initial offer which was rejected and a second one -- if I remember correctly -- which was accepted. Newcastle came back to me and asked me to reduce my salary. It was the club asking me to leave. I hadn't asked for anything, so if there was an effort to be made, it was for Lyon or Newcastle to make it."

Having watched his club's first four Ligue 1 games from the sidelines, Gomis is now in contention to make his first appearance of the campaign when OL host Rennes this weekend. 

Garde said last week he was confident both Gomis and fellow outcast Jimmy Briand would prove themselves fully committed to the OL cause, and despite the rancour he still harbours, Gomis confirmed his coach's belief.

"There's no conflict," he said. "Today, we have to work hand-in-hand. I initially learned via the media that I was going to be brought back into the squad, then I had a meeting with the coach and Bernard Lacombe, who called me. It's certain I'm disappointed, but I'm happy to be back out on the pitch."

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