After a below-par season in Ligue 1, in which they look likely to finish third, Olympique Lyonnais are destined to strengthen this summer and the first big name player they have been linked to is Inter midfielder Patrick Vieira.
The Nerazzurri are likely to shed several men this summer and 32-year-old Vieira, who turns 33 in late June, is likely to be one of those men after enduring a difficult campaign riddled with injury problems. Furthermore, Thiago Motta is virtually assured of signing for the Milan-based outfit in the near future and his presence will only push Vieira further down the pecking order.
“A departure [from Inter] is 90 per cent guaranteed and a challenge at Lyon would not displease him,” said a source close to Vieira, according to Aujourd’hui Sport. “They are, in his view, the strongest team in France.”
The former Arsenal and Juventus star has already been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, but a move to Lyon should be considered a more likely bet as les Gones have greater financial muscle than their counterparts in the capital, who are reported to have a meagre €10 million budget to play with this season.
L’Equipe notes that if such a move was to occur, it would be of great benefit to the French national side as Vieira and international team-mate Jeremy Toulalan would benefit from a whole season playing together immediately before the World Cup.
Robin Bairner, Goal.com