'Dembele will not leave' - Lyon president Aulas insists Man Utd target will stay

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The former Celtic forward will remain with the Ligue 1 club despite being linked with the Old Trafford outfit as a Romelu Lukaku replacement

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas insists that forward Moussa Dembele will not leave the club this summer amid reported interest from Manchester United.

The 23-year-old forward has been rumoured to have earned Premier League interest this summer after scoring 23 goals in all competitions for the Ligue 1 outfit last season.

But, having already sold Nabil Fekir to Real Betis, Tanguy Ndombele to Tottenham and Ferland Mendy to Real Madrid, Aulas says Lyon will not be selling the club's star forward as they look to build around the former Celtic striker.

"Moussa Dembele will not leave. The team was made for him. We recruited according to him," Aulas said according to Le Parisien.

"He becomes the number one striker, which he was not totally last season. It is not a question of money, it is a question of ambition."

He added: "Moussa is part of the project just like  [sporting director] Juninho or others. We want him to succeed and to reach the France team while playing for Lyon. 

"We have a great deal of confidence in his capabilities and potential."

Dembele has yet to earn his first senior cap for France having featured prominently for his country at the youth level.

Originally a Paris Saint-Germain player as a youth, Dembele moved to Fulham in 2012 at age 16 before making his professional debut a year later.

He scored 19 goals in 64 appearances for the Craven Cottage outfit before heading to Celtic in 2016, where he became a fixture of two title-winning teams.

The striker signed for Lyon on a five-year contract in 2018 for a fee of €22 million (£19.m/$24.7m).

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Lyon will begin the new campaign under new manager Sylvinho, who takes over from Bruno Genesio.

The French club will also have a number of new faces in the squad, including Thiago Mendes, Joachim Andersen, Youssouf Kone and Jean Lucas.

Lyon, who finished third in Ligue 1 last season, open their campaign on Friday with a clash against Monaco

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