Mamadou Sakho will he return to Ligue 1, seven years after leaving the French Championship and PSG to cross the Channel and then engage with Liverpool. As announced by L’Équipe last week, Lyon is very interested in the former PSG captain. And this interest seems mutual.
OL, despite the activism of its president Jean-Michel Aulas, should not play in the European Cup next season, which has not happened to it since 1997. Unless it wins the Cup final League against PSG. A match that could be played in early August before the resumption of the 2020-2021 season.
If Lyon managed to find themselves seventh in L1 and therefore non-European at the time of the stopping of the competitions, it is in particular because of defensive problems. By breaking their piggy bank last year, the Rhone club tried the expensive bet of the Dane Joachim Andersen, who came at 23 from the Sampdoria of Genoa against 24 million euros (+ 6 million euros in bonus). Andersen, who has become the club’s most expensive recruit, has never given satisfaction, notably by his slowness in certain interventions.
Crystal Palace will not hold it back
Lyon is therefore determined to recruit a new central defender. At 30, Mamadou Sakho appears more experienced than Andersen. And Jean-Michel Aulas, who had approached Sakho a few years ago, is very keen to bring back to France the man who had become in a single match a national hero on November 19, 2013 with his double against the Ukraine (3-0) during the qualifying and decisive jump-off for the World Cup in Brazil the following year.
Sakho, still under contract with Crystal Palace until 2021, will not be retained by London officials if the offer is correct. A transaction around ten million euros could conclude the deal. Bruno Cheyrou, the new director of the Lyon recruiting unit, is responsible for negotiations with Crystal Palace and the player.
Sunday evening at the Canal Football Club, Jean-Michel Aulas, has not closed the door, far from it, even if he prefers to let Juninho, his sports director, talk about football. “See Juninho, I know if the track is hot, but it’s up to him to say,” he said. Me, I really liked Mamadou, because he has the right personality, but there are also other tracks of very high level, it’s up to the technicians. “
Supervise young people and play big brothers
There remains the problem of Sakho’s emoluments, which exceed 500,000 euros monthly. But the latter can make efforts. He is aware that Lyon could offer him a return to light while he dreams of returning to the Blues (last selection on November 20, 2018 against Uruguay). Especially since he too must give wages. Suffering from muscle injuries for more than eighteen months, he has only played eight games this season with his club. The last one, on … January 1st against Norwich.
Sakho, when we talked about his possible return to the French Championship, had only declared “impossible” a signature at OM, the historic rival of PSG, his training club. In Lyon, he would be expected to supervise the young and also play the big brothers in a team that has often lacked character last season. It is not, far from it, a challenge which would put him off.