Claude Puel has admitted that Karim Benzema wanted to stay at Lyon for another season but he could not turn down the offer of a six-year deal at Real Madrid.
The French club accepted an offer of £30million for the striker from Real on Wednesday and the 21-year-old looks set to become the Spaniards’ fourth major signing of the summer.
Puel indicated that Real’s offer, which could rise to £35million, was too good for Lyon to turn down.
“It was an opportunity for Karim and the club has decided to accept his expectation,” the Lyon coach confirmed to L’Equipe.
“One year before the World Cup he has probably had to think a lot about the situation.
“We have considered the sporting and the economic aspects. We know we are losing a quality player. I believe he has the right weapons for such a challenge.”
Puel was already busy lining up Benzema’s replacement after indicating that Porto striker Lisandro Lopez was a possible transfer target.
“About our reinforcements, it could change in the coming hours or days,” he added.
“Our fans are worrying and it’s logical because we have no reinforcements yet and we are losing our best element.
“His departure can’t change the club’s ambitions. We are working to get Lisandro Lopez. However if he will not join us, we could turn to other trails.”