'The door is totally closed' – Lyon won't sell Aouar in January and plan to keep Depay

Jean-Michel Aulas discussed rumours surrounding the club’s prized duo, insisting that he is not planning to sanction winter departures

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has rejected the notion that Houssem Aouar could leave the club, while also addressing transfer rumours surrounding Memphis Depay.

Aouar was heavily linked with Liverpool and Barcelona during the summer transfer window, but he instead opted to sign a new long-term contract with the French side.

His performances at the start of the season in Ligue 1 have attracted many more potential suitors since, including Arsenal and Chelsea, with Lyon going strong in Ligue 1 and in the Champions League.

Depay has also been impressive this term, contributing five goals and seven assists in 16 matches to continue his career revival after a disappointing stint at Manchester United.

However, Aulas has insisted that Lyon will not be selling either Aouar or Depay when the transfer window reopens in January.

Aulas told RMC Sport: “A departure for Houssem Aouar? The door is totally closed for our most successful hope, who has come from the academy. I think he is the future of Lyon.

“There will be very few departures this winter. We are not planning to let the world go this summer, we want to keep our players. The potential buyers will have to be convincing, they will have to have the right arguments and I do not see many of them at the moment.”

Aulas then went on to reveal his stance on Depay, who has been touted for a possible return to Old Trafford next year, as the Red Devils included a buy-back clause in his contract when he left the club in 2017.

“We will keep him as long as possible and today, even if he has offers that are very important, I think he has the secret hope to make Lyon grow and allow him to stay for a long time,” he added.

“There were some very concrete offers this summer and, although they may not have been exactly what he wanted, he always had offers.

“They could come at any time, but we will not just let him go.”

Nabil Fekir’s situation was also touched upon, with Aulas stating that he remains hopeful of tying the midfielder down to a contract extension at Lyon, after offering an insight into his failed Liverpool switch.

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Lyon travel to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday night, knowing a win will secure their place in the Champions League knockout phase. 

They will then turn their attention back to Ligue 1 four days later, as they host Monaco at the Groupama Stadium.


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