Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas believes Memphis Depay is chomping at the bit to show his “immense talent” as the Holland forward puts the final touches on his move from Manchester United.
Aulas expects a deal to be concluded for the 22-year-old in the next 48 hours, with the transfer fee set to reach up to 25 million euros (£21.7m).
The Lyon president doubts the move will be finalised in time for Depay to make his debut against Marseille on Sunday, but he is hoping the Dutchman will soon be fulfilling the rich promise he showed at former club PSV Eindhoven after a frustrating spell in England.
Aulas told RMC Sport: “We’ve bet on a player who wants to show his immense talent. There was a lot of interest in him from his time with Holland and in Eindhoven, where he had two fantastic seasons.
“When you see him developing, you get the impression that he really wants to show his immense talent. So we hope, as we hoped with the women’s team by bringing in (US women’s international) Alex Morgan, and we are not disappointed.”
Depay joined United for £25million in the summer of 2015 with a burgeoning reputation, but he failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford and made just one start under Jose Mourinho this season.
The forward had been linked to various clubs but it was Lyon who won the race for his signature, with Depay having travelled to France to discuss personal terms this week.
Aulas said: “It was a dream, because he corresponds exactly with the player we were looking for. In addition, he has a certain panache.
“It’s true that Jose Mourinho didn’t play him that much, so there was an opportunity for us to negotiate with Manchester United.
“For the moment, we’ve got an agreement in principle but we still need to write up a contract, which is a bit complicated because there are quite a few bonuses.
“This is a big operation, because I think it will be around 16.5million euros, with up to eight million in bonuses. It’s a major investment.
“It’s ongoing but it will take, I think, another 48 hours for him to be registered.”
Lyon are currently fourth in Ligue 1 with 34 points, nine adrift of joint-leaders Monaco and Nice but with a game in hand on both.
This weekend they host sixth-placed Marseille with four points separating the teams.
Asked if Depay might be an option for that match, Aulas said: “I think that will be a little early, because at the moment we have not finalised all the documents.
“If it takes 24 hours, then he could play. If it’s a little more, he will not be available on Sunday.”