Transfer news

Briand determined to stay at Lyon

June 13, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Jimmy Briand has said he is determined to stay at Lyon despite the club seemingly looking to move him on, while OL's problematic new stadium project is finally close to getting off the ground.

Jimmy Briand scored in the 86th minute to give Lyon a 2-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao
GettyImagesBriand has played just five times in 2013

Briand, 27, appeared before the French Football League's (LFP) Judicial Commission on Tuesday to argue his case against OL. He claims the club withheld some bonuses and part of his salary after a move to Monaco fell through in January.

The France international forward then made just five league appearances in 2013, with coach Remi Garde claiming he had been left out on the basis of his performances in training.

Briand, however, remains keen to fight for his place - but acknowledged that a summer departure from the Stade de Gerland looks likely.

"I think that's what Lyon want, even if no-one at the club has told me what they want to do with me," he told L'Equipe.

"Anyway, I'm not thinking about leaving. On the contrary, I'm working with a fitness trainer to get my place back when training starts again on June 27.

“I'm capable of forgetting about the season I've just gone through. The past is the past. I'm ready to fight. I don't want to leave on a [note of] failure."

Lyon's need to find €25 million in transfer revenue to balance their books in the summer is unlikely to help Briand's cause but, with a year to go until the start of the World Cup, he is keen to keep his profile as high as possible.

"That's also why I want to stay at Lyon and win my place back," Briand, who featured in the first game of Didier Deschamps' reign as France boss but has yet to be called up since, said.

"I've not played much in six months. It's going to be difficult to find a good club pushing for the leading places in the table, and - if possible - playing in the Champions League. I'll be here on 27 June."

Even if Briand does stay, it is unlikely that he will still be wearing OL colours when the seven-time Ligue 1 champions move into their new 58,000-capacity Stadium of Lights in October or November 2015.

Although its 45-hectare site at Decines, a handful of kilometres from central Lyon, has been cleared and levelled, and a court ruled on Wednesday that the project is in the general interest despite strong local opposition, the estimated 27-month construction period has not yet begun.

The financial details of the €405 million venue, meanwhile, are yet to be completely finalised.

"We've not been very worried about the legal aspect for a while. The financing is not a source of concern either, but rather one of difficulty. It's been more complicated than we imagined," Gilbert Giorgi, the head of the project, told Le Parisien.

A nine-year, €80 million loan from Vinci, the company that will build the stadium, has still not been fully agreed, but Giorgi said: "There's just one clause to discuss.”

With another loan providing €150 million and OL contributing €40 million, majority shareholders Jean-Michel Aulas, the club’s president, and Jerome Seydoux are expected to dip into their own pockets to find most of the remaining €135 million needed.