Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed he turned down West Ham United’s €50 million bid for the French Ligue 1 side’s forward Alexanadre Lacazette.
After putting his side up, the 25-year-old France international was subbed off with a knee injury in Lyon’s 2-1 league win over Dijon on Saturday. Aulas said on Monday that the player will only be out of action for eight to 10 days.
With Aulas wanting to increase Lyon’s competitive force on a European level, he said he no longer wants to sell players such as Lacazette for €40-50m after the announcement of a Chinese firm pumping €100m into the club earlier this month.
“The first I sold to Chelsea for €42m was Michael Essien,” he told SFR Sport’s new programme 91st Minute.
“After that, we sold (Mahamadou) Diarra for €38m to Madrid. We sold Karim Benzema for €40-something million to Real Madrid.
“We refused an offer of €50m from West Ham for Lacazette — we’ve refused even more for Alexandre Lacazette this year.
“The objective I’ve set is to refuse offers because when you can refuse offers of €50m, €60m, or €70m that means you’re very strong and that, financially, you don’t need it.
“Why teams reach, at one moment or another, the highest level in Europe is because they can keep their players or buy players of the same quality.
“We can’t do that at the moment in France, which is where Olympique Lyonnais’ project with the stadium and the arrival of this Chinese group has come from.
“We hope that in the coming years we can not only refuse sales of this level but also buy really talented players.”