Lyon 'powerless' to keep Benzema
Thursday 18 June 2009
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has hinted he could be powerless to keep Karim Benzema at the Stade Gerland.
The young striker is one of the world's hottest properties at the moment, with Inter Milan and Real Madrid among the clubs reportedly considering tabling a 40million euro bid.
Speculation is also rife Manchester United are ready to use some of the money earned from the impending sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Madrid to bring Benzema to Old Trafford.
And, although Aulas is confident the 21-year-old will remain at Lyon at least until next summer's World Cup, he admits a mega bid could sway Lyon's stance.
"Karim has said that he wants to stay another year at Lyon," Aulas told L'Equipe. "But I think that Kaka or Ronaldo maybe imagined remaining with their respective clubs.
"There is a tsunami called Real Madrid which provokes reactions at Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.
"So it is very complicated to say that he is non-transferable. Today, it's obvious we want to keep him.
"There is more chance he'll be at Lyon next season than that he won't be.
"I won't hide from you the fact that he has been approached. For the moment, I managed to convince them not to go further."
Benzema has come through the ranks at the French giants and burst onto the scene in the 2007-08 season with 31 goals in 51 games, a streak that saw him named Ligue 1 player of the year as well as top the league's scoring charts.
This campaign was less impressive for both club and player, as Lyon ended the season without the Ligue 1 title for the first time in eight years, but the France forward nevertheless scored 23 goals in all competitions - an average of a goal every other game.
Latest in Sport
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Calum Chambers: Who is Arsenal's £16m right-back target?
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal resurrects £35m move for midfielder
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace