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Lyon rejected chance to sign Liverpool defender Sakho, says Aulas

The France international could have returned to Ligue 1 in January had a bid been sanctioned, but he ended up heading to Crystal Palace on loan 

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says they rejected the chance to sign Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool despite concerns about their defence.

Sakho, who moved to Anfield from Paris Saint-Germain in 2013, was linked with a return to Ligue 1 last month after being frozen out of the Liverpool first team under Jurgen Klopp.

The centre-back eventually signed for Crystal Palace on loan, though he has yet to make an appearance for Sam Allardyce’s side.

Aulas has admitted that Sakho was considered as a means of improving their poor defensive record – in Ligue 1’s top 10, only Guingamp have conceded more goals – but says they passed on any potential deal.

« We had an opportunity with a left-footed defender who is available in England – Mamadou Sakho, » he told RMC.

« We didn’t choose this solution because we have faith in terms of the management of [Nicolas] Nkoulou and [Emanuel] Mammana.

« We’re disappointed with defensive performances, even though that goes beyond only the defenders. It’s part of the organisation of the game.

« We know that, if we want to progress in the table, we’ll need to strengthen this defensive area. »

Lyon’s only signing of the last transfer window was Memphis Depay, who joined from Manchester United for a reported initial fee of €16million.

Head coach Bruno Genesio explained last month that the Netherlands international was bought as a potential replacement for Rachid Ghezzal, who continues to be linked with a move away from the club.

Depay has only scored once in six league appearances but Aulas believes he can bring a different dynamism to the squad.

« We’d anticipated the departure of Rachid Ghezzal, even though it hasn’t happened, » he said. « We’re still in discussions with him.

« Memphis was one of the young players we were interested in. He has technical and physical qualities that we didn’t have. »

Source: www.goal.com

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