Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas has revealed that Manchester City failed with a bid to sign star striker Karim Benzema in January.
Benzema has been linked with a move away from the French champions, with Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid reported to be interested, but Aulas confirmed that the first club to make an offer for the 20-year-old was City.
“We had first contact from an English club, a newcomer among the great traders of the transfer market,” the Lyon chief said. “The offer was huge.”
“Barcelona, Madrid and Manchester United are also attracted. But he is a Lyon player so far.”
Aulas went on to admit that Lyon might be forced to cash in on their highly-rated striker in the near future.
“Some opportunities don’t happen twice,” Aulas said. “There are potential buyers for ‘products’ to be sold. Parting with a player is a strategic decision that has to be made at the right time.”
Benzema refused to be drawn on his future ahead next week’s Champions League clash with Barcelona.
“My departure is not topical,” Benzema said. “I am at a great club and we will see what happens after the two matches with Barcelona.”