Benzema transfer saga

Lyon chief reveals Man City Benzema bid

February 20, 2009
By Soccernet staff

Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas has revealed that Manchester City failed with a bid to sign star striker Karim Benzema in January.

GettyImagesKarim Benzema: higly-rated Lyon striker.

With Lyon set to face Barcelona next week in the UEFA Champions League the future of one of Europe's hottest properties is back on the agenda with both Barca and Real Madrid interested in signing the French striker.

But Aulas revealed that the first club to make a concrete offer for the 20-year-old was City.

"We had first contact from an English club, a newcomer among the great traders of the transfer market," the Lyon chief said. "The offer was huge."

"Barcelona, Madrid and Manchester United are also attracted. But he is a Lyon player so far."

Aulas went on to admit that Lyon could need to cash in their highly-rated striker in the near future.

"Some opportunities don't happen twice," Aulas said. "There are potential buyers for 'products' to be sold. Parting with a player is a strategic decision that has to be made at the right time."

Benzema refused to be drawn on his future ahead the high-profile clash with Barcelona and preferred instead to concentrate on the knock-out double header with the La Liga leaders.

"My departure is not topical," Benzema said. "I am at a great club and we will see what happens after the two matches with Barcelona."