Aulas admission as report claims Lyon chief ready to sell Liverpool target

Jonny Whitfield

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has admitted that he could struggle to keep hold of the likes of Houssem Aouar after his side were denied the chance to fight for European football next season.

The top two tiers of French football were voided last month by the French government due to the global health crisis, with Paris Saint-Germain handed the Ligue 1 title on a points-per-game basis.

Lyon, meanwhile, finished seventh and so will be without European football next season, which Aulas admitted could be costly for his side as they battle to balance the books.

Midfield talent Auoar, who has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal, and Chelsea-linked attacker Moussa Dembele are among the players whose futures could be uncertain.

Aulas told French publication Le Progres (via the Daily Express): “I am going to do everything to keep the players.

“But players who are programmed to play in Europe could want to go elsewhere because we don’t have European football.”

Indeed, a report from L’Equipe has claimed that Aulas has decided to put Aouar up for sale in the first move to help his side overcome the current financial uncertainties.

 

What’s more, the 21-year-old France Under-21 international is said to be the favourite to leave, with Dembele also mooted as a potential candidate to be sold.

Liverpool had been tipped for a busy summer, with RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner said to be high up on their list of targets, but it is uncertain what business they will now complete.

As for potential departures, the contracts of Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne are set to expire at the end of June, although they could be kept on if the Premier League season is allowed to resume past that date.

Elsewhere, key midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has just over a year left on his deal, an issue that is expected to become a priority in the coming months.

READ MORE: Ralf Rangnick tips Timo Werner to flourish at Anfield if Liverpool swoop