Rennes have acknowledged they would love to bring Yoann Gourcuff back to the club, but admitted the Lyon midfielder may not want to return to Brittany.
Gourcuff, 28, is a native Breton and began his professional career at Rennes before moving to AC Milan in 2006. Though he then excelled at Bordeaux, where he was instrumental in their 2008-09 Ligue 1 title triumph, Gourcuff has failed to return to those heights since his 22 million-euro move to Lyon in summer 2010.
OL president Jean-Michel Aulas has recently stated his hope to extend Gourcuff's contract, which expires next summer and would see him leave the Stade de Gerland for free at that point, but would not be against selling the France international should the price be right, particularly given the player's hefty salary.
Speaking at half-time of his club's 2-0 defeat at Lyon in their Ligue 1-opener on Sunday, Rennes president Rene Ruello told Canal+ he would welcome Gourcuff back to the Stade de la Route de Lorient.
"Yes, we would love to," he said. "But Yoann has to want to too, and we have to have the possibilities to do it.
"He's a great player, a player of international renown, who has a huge amount of talent and has unfortunately had a few injuries in recent times. It's certain that he would give us a lot.
"I have not spoken to Jean-Michel Aulas at all. I think that if one day I have to speak about it, I think we first have to see what the player wants. He's the one who decides."
Gourcuff, who did not feature during his side's win due to an ankle injury, told media afterwards: "There's nothing to say."