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Precision regarding Ribéry

Published on the 24 June 2006 à 19:02 by SC

During Saturday’s press conference Jean-Michel AULAS was asked about <b>Franck RIBERY</b>. The Lyon president set the record straight...

“We had decided to make three off season signings. They have been made, but should Sidney GOVOU leave we want somebody who can occupy the right wing and also play other positions. As a result we have activated discussions with people who possibly hold the key to this fourth player and that’s where we’re up to at the moment.”

Jean-Michel AULAS continued, specifically regarding RIBERY: “I can say that early in the season, well before the World Cup, we made our interest in Franck RIBERY known. He is one of the players that interests Gérard HOULLIER.” And the president added: “we certainly didn’t jump the gun, we simply made OM aware of our interest.”

Jean-Michel AULAS then stated: “We are happy that he (Ribéry) put his career first and announced his desire to join Olympique Lyonnais… …for the moment OM are holding out but that’s normal, it’s often the way clubs react when they want to up the transfer fee for a player.”

Not once did Jean-Michel AULAS enter into the controversy, merely stating: “Real negotiations will have to begin with the Marseille directors, Pape DIOUF, José ANIGO, and the coaching staff once the player returns from the World Cup.”

He concluded: “It’s not a stand off, but a positive discussion between two great clubs who want to do what’s best for their players.” Before adding that the potential transfer could be positive for everyone: “If the deal mans that OM will have some money to invest in acquiring new players, thanks to our purchase, then that could also strengthen the French league with stronger teams, while Franck gets to continue his career in France, which is what he wants, rather than head overseas.”