Abidal content at Lyon
By Patrick Haond & Laurent Picard
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Eric Abidal is happy at Lyon after the club stated he and Florent Malouda will not be sold.
Eric Abidal admits he is content at Lyon after the French champions revealed the full back, and Florent Malouda, will not be sold this summer.
Speculation has suggested that Abidal is a target for Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona, although reports in France claim Arsene Wenger has an agreement with Gerard Houllier to not sign any Lyon players this year.
Abidal concedes there are certain clubs he would be unable to refuse, but he is equally happy to stay with Houllier's side.
"That is a good question, but there is a good answer," Abidal told L'Equipe when quizzed about his future.
"I still have three years remaining on my l'OL contract. I am at l'OL so far. Then, I don't know, but I am at ease in that club, everything is fine.
"If a player wants to leave and everyone can take advantage of that, I can't see why we could prevent him from leaving.
"Is it a good year to leave, or should I wait another season? It is true that the aim of any competitor is to play in a great club.
"Are there clubs you can't refuse? Yes, at first Lyon. I am happy to be here, but it is true big clubs like Barcelona or Arsenal, I don't know if you can refuse them."
Malouda has also been linked with a move away from Stade Gerland, but Lyon have issued a statement to refute talk that the left-sided duo could be on their way.
A statement on the club's official website read: "Olympique Lyonnais informs that the club hasn't received offers for the two French internationals Eric Abidal and Florent Malouda.
"Those two players, under contract with l'OL - until June 2009 for Abidal, June 2010 for Malouda - can't be transferred."
Lyon's administrative delegated chairman Marino Faccioli admits he is baffled by suggestions that winger Malouda wants to leave the club.
Faccioli said: "I can't understand it. Malouda says we are in talks, I can't understand what he is talking about.
"We have extended his contract until 2010 four months ago. It is a little vague.
"I just know Malouda met chairman Jean-Michel Aulas and coach Gerard Houllier and they talked in an informal way.
"Only one player can leave. He is Sidney Govou."
Versatile attacker Govou has been linked with a string of clubs, with Monaco the latest to show an interest, although no official contact has yet been made.