Lyon rule out Benzema exit
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has ruled out any chance of Karim Benzema leaving this summer.
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 13/06/08 12:54pm
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has ruled out any chance of Karim Benzema leaving the French champions this summer and tipped him to stay at the club for a further two years.
Barcelona had high hopes of prising the 20-year-old away from the Stade Gerland and were hoping to smooth the way for another bid at the European Club Association (ECA) conference at Camp Nou.
With the continent's most powerful clubs gathering in the Catalan capital, reports suggested that there would be some wheeling and dealing being done, but Benzema will not be part of it.
"With €40m (£31.7m) or €50m (£39.7m) we would sell Benzema's ear," Aulas joked to reporters. "It is not a question of money. The player wants to achieve something big in the Champions League with Lyon.
"He is happy at the club and this can be seen with his latest contract renewal. I am sure that he will stay with Lyon until the 2010 World Cup finals."
Aulas admitted that he knew Benzema is attracted by Barcelona and would rather join them than go to Real Madrid, but the French international wants to succeed at his hometown club first.
"I believe that he likes Barca a lot," he added.