The situation with Rachid Ghezzal and Lyon drags on, and on, and on. With a contract running out in the summer, Lyon have been trying to get the attacker to sign a new contract for quite some time.
Such was their frustration, and perhaps mistrust, during the summer transfer window they accepted an offer from Ronald Koeman’s Everton.
Lyon would have received €13m from Everton, ending any chance of losing Ghezzal for nothing, and the player was offered €400k per month gross. Ghezzal turned it down and talks with Lyon have continued, and now his contract situation is even more precarious.
The footballer was said to have turned Everton down because he didn’t feel the level was a step up for him, but there’s of course suspicion he’s trying to run his deal down and then get even more money when he’s a free agent.
Ghezzal insists that’s not the case, and staying at Lyon is his priority, but that his agents, one of whom is his brother, are simply trying to get him the best deal.
On tense relations with Lyon, Ghezzal, who came through the club’s youth system, explained: “It’s like a family dispute! Small quarrels between brothers or between father and child, it is always more difficult to manage than a conventional dispute between an employer and an employee.
“There is the emotional aspect which comes in. OL is a big part of me. I am trained and born here. So it’s difficult for everyone, the president included because he is a businessman. Because of this emotional relationship, we ask more questions. And when you think about it, if I were in his place, I repeat myself, I might have done the same… I was put on the transfer list and they negotiated my departure to Everton.”
As well as Everton, clubs including Atletico Madrid have been linked with Ghezzal, and whilst talks have taken place, the winger says he still wants to stay: “That has not changed! Of course, there are other clubs interested in me and have begun discussions. But my priority is always to extend. Today, I have no agreement with another club and I am always concentrated on OL.”
If the family spat doesn’t sort itself out very soon, then Koeman may nudge Everton to have another go. This time there’d be no €13m, but Ghezzal may well fancy some of that as a signing on fee.