Lyon coach Gerard Houllier has confirmed his interest in signing Mikael Silvestre if Manchester United agree to sell the defender.

Silvestre and Chelsea’s Glen Johnson have been considered as targets this month as Lyon look to bolster their squad for the second half of the season.

Houllier has had to cope without Eric Abidal, Claudio Cacapa and Anthony Reveillere and now Jeremy Berthod has also joined the list of casualties.

“It would be too stupid to spoil the rest of our season due to a lack of defenders,” admitted Houllier in L’Equipe.

“That is why I want to hire one or two additional defenders. The problem is a little complex because it would be perfect to buy players who are able to play in the Champions League.

“Glen Johnson is an attractive right back but Jose Mourinho and Chelsea do not want to let him leave.

“Vincent Kompany is, at first, very expensive and Anderlecht only want a transfer next summer.

“Mikael Silvestre is a player able to appeal to us because he can play in the centre and on the left. The question is to know if he wants to leave Manchester.

“However, he has already played in the Champions League.

“Sebastien Squillaci is another very exciting player, even for the future. But he can’t play in the Champions League as well this season.

“Patrick Muller would be perfect if Basel could loan him. His great is asset is to know the club perfectly [he was formerly with Lyon] and he has already proved a lot here.

“Zubar-Muller would be great for me, but it could also be Zubar-Squillaci or Zubar-Silvestre.”

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