According to Olympique Lyon’s president, Manchester United and Real Madrid were interested in the services of Rayan Cherki before the player signed a professional contract at the club.
Rayan Cherki is held in high esteem in the French Ligue 1 having starred for Lyon last season – scoring three goals in 12 appearances which saw him become the club’s youngest ever scorer.
Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed even before he appeared on the scene for Lyon, the player was already attracting interest from Europe’s elite clubs at a tender age.
“He’s undoubtedly a player who will go to the highest level,” Aulas told Telefoot. “That’s why we did everything we could to sign him. The two clubs that were interested when we won his faith were Real Madrid and Manchester United.
“We want him to succeed with Lyon. We want to support him and that’s why we’re trying to move his career on. In years to come, we want him to become not only a leader for our attack, but a leader from the academy.”
Houssem Aouar is another of Lyon’s youth prospects who could be on the move this summer with Manchester City and Juventus said to be interested in his signature. However, Aulas said there is nothing concrete to report yet.
“For the moment, we’ve not had any proposals or even a request for any information on him, but I know that many clubs could be interested in him,” he said. “In any case, our preference is to keep him and we will do everything to achieve that. The second option is that it’s up to him where he wants to play. When players have left in the past, we’ve always favoured the place and the club where they wanted to go.”
The French club could be a tight corner this summer with regards to keeping some of their stars including Memphis Depay, whose deal with the club expires next summer.
Lyon are to win this season’s Champions League if they are to be guaranteed a spot for next season’s competition after missing out on the top four position in the Ligue 1.
They hold a 1-0 advantage over Juventus after the first leg game of their last 16 tie in the competition.