The Ligue 1 club’s outspoken president claims that his team could spend far more on their squad if they wanted to
Jean-Michel Aulas, president of Lyon, has said that his club are capable of spending €100 million (£90m/$114m) each year on transfers if necessary.
The Ligue 1 side have earned themselves something of a reputation for producing and selling star talent, with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso leaving for other big European clubs.
This summer, Lyon’s squad has yet again been attracting interest from elsewhere on the continent, as Tottenham are reportedly showing strong interest in Frenchman Tanguy Ndombele and left-back Ferland Mendy has already sealed a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Last year, club captain Nabil Fekir was close to a Premier League transfer, as Liverpool nearly signed the midfielder, but finally the move collapsed.
Following these numerous sales, the Lyon president said that his club could spend up to €100m per year if they so wished.
“We are capable of investing €100m per year. I don’t know if we’ll do it, but [if we do] not on one player. On five players. That’s a better strategy,” the 70-year-old told French news outlet Le Progres .
“Is it better to be the king of the transfer market for one year and earn yourself a reputation, or to build an environment over a long period where you can generate your own resources?”
Since he took over the presidency of the club in 1987, Aulas’s mission has been to turn his club into a shrewd business operation while challenging for silverware.
This has successfully resulted in Lyon establishing themselves in Europe, while maintaining strength in the transfer market, as Tottenham have discovered.
“If I wait eight days, [Ndombele] will be worth €80m… Tottenham made us a first offer of €45m,” he said to RMC Sport in a recent interview.
“Afterwards, we discussed. Nothing is set in stone, I assure you of that, and we’re in no rush.
“Tanguy is one of our best players. How much is he worth? I don’t know, but more than €45m for sure.”
Despite his stubbornness in negotiations, Tottenham are still in pole position to sign Ndombele before the summer transfer market closes.
Lyon have already lined up Thiago Mendes from fellow Ligue 1 club Lille as a replacement, which would allow them to sell the 22-year-old.
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