Puel coy over Benzema future
Claude Puel has refused to rule out the sale of Karim Benzema although he added no bids have been made.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 30/06/09 10:45am
Lyon manager Claude Puel has confirmed that the club have not received any offers for Karim Benzema although he refused to rule out a sale if a big bid came in.
With Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Arsenal all linked with the 21-year-old the transfer saga threatens to roll on over the whole summer.
The striker himself has accepted that he will leave the Ligue 1 side at some point but has expressed a desire to remain in France for one more season at least.
Amid all the speculation Puel stated that the supposed quartet of interested clubs had yet to make a formal approach for the France international and the situation would hopefully be resolved once the player returns from holiday on Thursday.
"We know how much Karim is important to our game and we know the financial data of our club," he told L'Equipe.
"We will take stock on July 2nd when he will come back from holidays. So far he has always said he wanted to stay with us, at least until the 2010 World Cup.
"We will listen to Karim, to his desire. Then maybe it will go further. So far there is nothing concrete and we didn't set any price for Karim. He is not to sell.
"If he would have a desire to leave, we would see if there would be any concrete offers, which is not the case at the moment. Anyway that won't mean Karim will leave.
"The departure of Karim, above all after the departure of Juninho, would be a loss. He is an exceptional player.
"We can lose him if we replace him with one or two players of his level. We have to make sure the group improves."