Lyon: Govou stays, despite transfer request

July 9, 2008

Lyon coach Claude Puel wants to keep France forward Sidney Govou at the Stade Gerland next season but will allow defender Sebastien Squillaci to move to Sevilla.

Govou, who has spent his entire career at Lyon, has been linked in the French media with a move to Paris St Germain.

The 28-year-old revealed in May he was interested in a move abroad, but would happily stay at Lyon for the remainder of his career should nothing emerge.

Lyon administrative director Marino Faccioli said on Wednesday that Govou had asked the directors to let him leave the club but that Puel was keen to keep hold of him.

'Claude Puel has expressed his wish to keep him (Govou) in the group for next season,' Faccioli said.

'Sidney had revealed his desire to be transferred, but until now we are yet to receive any concrete offer for him and have not fixed a price.

'Given this fact, and given the wishes of Claude Puel, Sidney should be present at the start of the squad's pre-season training next week.'

Squillaci is a long-time target of Spanish club Sevilla, who have made known their desire to add him to their defence.

Faccioli revealed the French champions had held talks with the Primera Liga side as recently as this week about a transfer for the player, and that they are now waiting for Sevilla to make a firm offer.

'Sevilla are interested in taking him (Squillaci),' he continued. 'We have been in contact with them a number of times.

'We even met with the Sevilla directors when (Lyon) president Jean-Michel Aulas was at the ECA (European Clubs Association) meeting on Monday in Nyon.

'There are still a few details to work out concerning this deal. We've asked Sevilla to bring us certain guarantees, mostly financial ones.

'We're waiting now for them to come back to us in order to work out the transfer of Sebastien Squillaci.'

Meanwhile, midfielder Fabio Santos could miss the start of the new season after suffering a sprained ankle in training.

The 27-year-old Brazilian fell heavily on his right ankle after a collision with team-mate Lamine Gassama during a practice match on Tuesday and X-rays immediately afterwards revealed a sprain.

Despite a prompt diagnosis, it is not yet known how long Santos will be out of action for.

'We'll see how things are after the X-ray. It looks like a pretty bad sprain to his right ankle,' Lyon's club doctor Jean-Jacques Amprino told the club's official website.

Santos joined Lyon in 2007 from Brazilian side Cruzeiro but has failed to establish himself with the French champions and was shipped out on loan to Sao Paolo during last season.

There was more injury woe for coach Puel when Santos' compatriot Fred also limped out of training with tendonitis in his left knee. The Brazil striker, who has nine international caps, will have an MRI scan on Wednesday to reveal the full extent of the damage.