Chelsea-linked Dembele will not leave Lyon in January, Aulas affirms

Goal.com
The Blues boss has played down links to the Lyon striker and says “nothing is close” when it comes to possible additions in the January window
The Blues boss has played down links to the Lyon striker and says “nothing is close” when it comes to possible additions in the January window

Lyon have doubled down on their stance that they will not allow striker Moussa Dembele to depart in the January transfer window.

President Jean-Michel Aulas has seen continuous reports associating the former Celtic striker with a move back to England, where he featured for Fulham after playing in their youth academy.

Chelsea have been most closely linked with the 24-year-old forward, but after the club previously released a statement indicating that he would not be sold, Aulas has reaffirmed that stance in the light of injuries to key offensive players including Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

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“Moussa will not leave,” he said. “On one hand, he wants to stay with Lyon. It’s the best way for him to continue to improve his game.

“There have been offers for him and other players, but no one we want to keep will leave in January.”

OL have set about augmenting their attacking options to fight on four fronts in 2020, with a Champions League date against Juventus looming.

Karl Toko Ekambi of Villarreal is one player they have been chasing but Aulas has revealed that it's going to be "difficult" to land the former Sochaux forward.

“We’ve news about him and it’s not good news,” he said before hinting at another potential deal. “Vincent Ponsot [Lyon’s assistant general manager] and Florian Maurice [who is in charge of recruitment] are still in Spain but for another operation.

“The situation is not that dramatic. Things are difficult from a sporting perspective but we’ve qualified in all competitions.

“We’ll try to strengthen ourselves, or course. Our first instinct was to give the academy players more time. That’s the first solution. The second is to sign. But though the board has decided to recruit, it will not be at any cost. We’re not going to do just anything. We’ll look at the situation seriously.”

Lyon have had a difficult campaign and presently find themselves 12th in Ligue 1, five points short of the Champions League spots. 

On Wednesday, they host Brest in the Coupe de la Ligue as they push for a semi-final place, with the ultimate target to earn their first major silverware since the 2012 Coupe de France.

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