Speaking at press conference orchestrated to unveil the contract extension of central defender Marcelo, Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas discussed the club’s striker situation.
On Mariano Diaz:
Things did not go as we imagined. He told us 3 weeks ago that he wanted to leave and there were advanced talks with Real Madrid. When I called Florentino Perez he said: no, he is not one of the players that we want to sign. Mariano continued to say that he absolutely wanted to leave… We listened to offers. Sevilla’s offer arrived and we said… ok, keeping a player against his wishes is a bad way to prepare for an important season and bad for the squad harmony. We did not imagine that the match-up clause that Real Madrid had would be activated. We are currently negotiating things, it is a little complicated. For now, we will let Mariano go, so long as we reach an agreement and that he can undergo a medical.
On Moussa Dembélé:
I cannot go into detail, we are interested, he is one of a number of options. Celtic are tough negotiators. We entered into contact with the player, discussions went well, he is interested. Two days before the end of a transfer window, it is difficult for the club that owns him.
On Nicolas Pépé:
You need to ask him, for the moment we have moved things forward with his club. As for him I do not know. I think that an agreement between now and Friday is possible with the club (Lille), so long as the player is interested, which has not been confirmed so far as I am aware.
On Nabil Fékir:
In the beginning, when we thought about our summer transfer window and how to organise the future squad, we thought that he was practically gone. That’s why we have been able to adapt things. We spoke with Chelsea representatives, and they had no interest at all in him. From then on, we realised we could change our plans (as Nabil would stay).