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. »