Nantes star anticipates exit
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Nantes starlet Jeremy Toulalan says he expects to leave the club next summer.Nantes starlet Jeremy Toulalan says he expects to leave the club next summer after seeing his chances of joining Lyon dashed by the closing of the transfer window.
The gifted midfielder drew offers from the French champions after impressing with Les Canaris last season, although Nantes were steadfast in their intention to keep hold of the 21-year-old as they rejected a number of bids.
OL boss Gerard Houllier had targeted the emerging talent as a candidate to join Tiago in compensating for the loss of Michael Essien to Chelsea, and could reignite his interest with Toulalan insisting that Les Canaris are ready to dispose of him at the end of the season.
"There is no deal with Lyon, next year if a club wants me and give a good price I will go," Toulalan told But!
"Perhaps we will find an agreement with Lyon this year, but so farÇª
"To me it could have been a solution, my future would have been safe and I could have concentrated myself on the season.
"Nantes want me to leave next season."
Toulalan has admitted that the constant speculation linking him to Stade Gerland was a disruptive influence during pre-season, although emphasised that he is happy at the Ligue 1 outfit despite the recent negotiations.
"I have not signed anything with Lyon, there is no agreement with anyone," Toulalan told But!
"We also talked to double my wages to stay at Nantes but this is false.
"I have never dragged my feet to stay here, I love this club.
"The rumoured transfer to Lyon perturbed me during the pre-season training period, I often thought about it.
"Then I met chairman Rudy Roussillon and he confirmed he wanted me to stay.
"I was just disappointed because the Nantes officials didn't make any financial efforts."
Whilst Toulalan looks increasingly likely to leave Nantes, the club are actively seeking to line up a new striker for the January transfer window after missing out on a host of signings.
The Ligue 1 side failed to sign Real Madrid youngster Javier Portillo and Al-Arabi forward Dennis Oliech as the window closed in August, although have now reignited their pursuit of the Nigerian star.
Nantes are expected to send a contingent to Qatar in a bid to hammer out a deal for the striker in the near future.