Lyon reveal City Benzema bid
Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas has confirmed Man City failed with a bid to sign Karim Benzema.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 20/02/09 11:06am
Lyon star Karim Benzema has refused to talk about his future, but his president Jean Michel Aulas has confirmed Manchester City failed with a bid to sign him in January.
Lyon face Barcelona next week in the UEFA Champions League, and that has led to further intense speculation in the Spanish press about the striker's future with both Real Madrid and Barca long-term admirers of the French striker.
The 20-year-old would not be drawn on the rumours, saying: "My departure is not topical.
"I am at a great club and we will see what happens after the two matches with Barcelona.
"People are asking questions, but I don't wont to get mad even if I make a decision to leave in June."
But Aulas did confirm that Manchester City came calling in January, as well as reiterating that Barca, Real and City's neighbours Manchester United were all very much keeping tabs on Benzema.
Aulas admitted that Lyon could need to cash in on Benzema.
"Some opportunities don't happen twice," Aulas told Le 10 Sport.
"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."
Aulas added that City were the first side to make a move for the highly-rated front-man.
"We had first contact from an English club, a newcomer among the great traders of the transfer market.
"The offer was huge. Barcelona, Madrid and Manchester United are also attracted. But he is a Lyon player so far," he said.
One striker definitely on his way out is Fred as his move to Fluminense looks closer to completion.
"There is no chance for him to stay. To me, it is over. He will leave that is for sure, things are improving," said Bernard Lacombe - special advisor to Aulas.
Meanwhile, Francois Clerc has returned to training following his knee surgery in August and he hopes to be back playing within the next month.
Likewise fellow full-back Anthony Reveillere is also set to return to training following his knee problems.