L’Équipe report tonight that super agent Pini Zahavi is attempting to broker the departure of Lyon coach Bruno Génésio to Premier League side Newcastle United.
The French tactician, who saw his side get hammered at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night 5-1, knows what he wants. His intention remains to stay at Lyon, but his contract is expiring in June.
President Jean-Michel Aulas appears to be suggesting privately that his primary intention is to extend Génésio’s contract – the pair even met before the Barcelona game during which time JMA explained to Génésio that the outcome of their Champions’ League adventure with the Catalan giants would have no bearing on his decision about keeping the coach on or not.
Aulas has fixed a timeline on the situation, and if he follows it, then a decision will be made as soon as at the end of this month. This schedule was fixed at the request of Génésio, who does not wish to wait until the end of this season to know his fate.
JMA could change his mind on the timeline though, especially with the fact that the race for the final Champions’ League spot, with Lyon currently inhabiting it, looks likely to go down to the wire.
Génésio, who recently begun working with Pini Zahavi, wants to continue his time as a manager and not go back to the days of being a mere assistant as he was before he was given the top job at Lyon. As a result, he has asked his new agent to explore his options, if OL decide not to extend him.
Zahavi has since informed him that Newcastle United are interested in his services. Even if OL’s Champions’ League adventure is now over, he has left an impression in England after beating Manchester City at the Ethiad Stadium earlier on in the competition.
The Magpies’ board want Rafael Benitez to sign a contract extension, with the Spaniard’s current deal also expiring in June, but negotiations are dragging and the possibility of the former Real Madrid & Liverpool coach leaving are increasing.
Newcastle have been preparing for the potential departure of Benitez for several months, and have asked Zahavi to find them options.
Génésio, for the moment, is not entirely sold – his priority is to remain with Lyon, if they will extend his deal.