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By ESPN Staff
Jan 9, 2008

Wantaway striker Fred can quit Lyon, says Aulas

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has given wantaway striker Fred permission to leave after the Brazil international finally returned following the winter break.

Middlesbrough, Manchester City, Tottenham and West Ham have all been linked with the 24-year-old but Aulas - who is also vice-president of the French football league - would prefer him to remain in France.

Fred has been hotly tipped for a move to Paris St Germain and rumours have reached fever pitch after he arrived back at Les Gones eight days later than his team-mates.

'If he wants to leave, he can do so,' Aulas told Lyon's official website.

'We have had enquiries about him, one of which is from PSG.

'We'll take the time to discuss things with him. It's in his interest to find a club which will play him more and value him.'

Aulas added: 'As vice-president of the Ligue de Football Professionnel, and for the value of television rights, I would prefer Fred to stay in France.

'That's the reason we're ready to do what we can to help him secure a move to PSG.

'However, there is no possibility of us loaning him out.'

Fred outlined his desire to leave the Stade Gerland after losing his place in the starting line-up to in-form France striker Karim Benzema and playing just 366 minutes of first-team football this season.

Aulas reckons there will be little difficulty in securing a move for the striker, who cost the club 16 million euros in 2005.

'There will be no difficulty,' he said. 'He will be wanted by many clubs. A young Brazil international is a rarity in the market.

'In the interest of French football we have to have a big club in Paris. We need PSG to develop and for that they need a certain number of big players.

'Other great Brazilian players have been successful there.'