Rachid Ghezzal is proving a problem for Lyon. The 24 year old’s contract expires in the summer and there appears to be serious trust issues between the player’s camp and the club.
Despite hints on a stay, Lyon certainly clearly haven’t been convinced. In August there were various reports in France that Lyon had agreed to sell Ghezzal to Everton for a fee of €10m+.
The player thought about it and rejected it, with Everton’s lack of European football put forward as a reason. At the time L’Equipe journalist Bilel Ghazi also confirmed this, but added that the player prioritised an extended contract at Lyon as he wants to play in Europe.
Three months later and there’s still no new contract, and there’s the very real danger that it’s all been a game and Ghezzal is looking at a free transfer move to maximise his income. France’s Mercato 365 report that, according to their own information, Tottenham and West Ham have initiated talks on a possible transfer.
Both Tottenham and West Ham have close eyes on the French market, and both Mauricio Pochettino and Slaven Bilic have seen the benefits of that in recent seasons.
Mercato365 say Everton offered the player €400k a month during the summer, but things have since gone north.
Given Ghezzal’s wish for European football and progression in his football career, Pochettino’s men would clearly hold the advantage over West Ham if it comes to a free transfer shootout. Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas may not be the biggest fan of Tottenham’s transfer tactics, but he could do little if Ghezzal leaves as a free agent.
This one has the potential to get messy and once again it’s insinuated Ghezzal would prioritise Lyon if they pushed his wages to match the club’s highest earners. There’s every chance this is all a domestic designed to extract as much money out of Lyon as possible, but it would be no surprise if Aulas was willing to accept any reasonable offer in January if there’s been no renewal signed.
Able to play on either wing, the left footer can also play as an attacking midfielder. Born in France, Ghezzal is an Algeria international, and there would be no issue with a work permit.