'The time is right to join Lyon' - Baros

January 22, 2007

Former Aston Villa striker Milan Baros insists he has no regrets about turning down the chance to join Lyon 18 months ago - but claims the time is now right and he is delighted to have arrived at the Stade Gerland.

The Czech Republic international has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the French champions after an unsuccessful spell at Villa Park.

Baros had not requested a move but felt the opportunity to link up again with former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier was too good to refuse.

'I hadn't wanted to leave England at the time because I wished to develop in the Premiership,' he said.

'A new opportunity came when Lyon made their offer and I felt that it was the right moment to move.'

On turning down Lyon a year and a half ago, he said: 'I weighed up the pros and cons at the time. I have no regrets about that.

'Today the situation has changed and I am delighted to come here. I hope to bring all my qualities to the team.'

The 25-year-old is well aware he may find it difficult to settle in another league after arriving mid-season, but is confident he will cope.

He added: 'It is never easy changing countries but I know Gerard Houllier well.

'I know what is awaiting me and a number of players in the team speak English. That should make it easier for me. I am counting on learning French quickly.'

It is expected giant Norwegian John Carew will move in the opposite direction in a straight swap with both players valued at £4.3million.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was delighted to finally land Baros after tracking his progress for several years.

'He is one of the strikers who has most impressed us these recent years,' he said.

'I know that he is a very strong player, a hard worker, who will blend into the team,' said Lyon coach Houllier, adding: 'He has different qualities (to Lyon's other strikers).'