Geubbels gives Barcelona, Chelsea & Arsenal hope by snubbing Lyon deal

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The highly-rated 16-year-old is being monitored by leading sides across Europe and has opened the door to a move by snubbing a professional contract

Willem Geubbels could be on his way out of Lyon after snubbing the offer of a professional contract at the Ligue 1 side, Goal can confirm.

The 16-year-old forward has emerged as one of the most sought-after talents in Europe, with leading sides from across the continent now closely monitoring his situation.

Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona are among those believed to be keen, with the youngster’s potential having been noted prior to his first-team introduction at Lyon.

Lyon had been hoping to get Geubbels to commit his long-term future to the club after providing the platform on which to build early progress.

They have, however, seen a proposal knocked back by the teenager and his father, who has been working as an advisor.

Jean-Michel Aulas had recently talked up a “big offer in terms of signing bonus and salary”, but the Lyon president has been unable to convince Geubbels with that offer.

The talented forward is believed to have concerns regarding the sporting project at the Groupama Stadium and how his ongoing development fits into a bigger picture.

He had been seeking assurances regarding his first-team involvement both on a short-term and medium-term basis, but has not got the responses he was looking for.

Willem Geubbels

That has led to a breakdown in contract discussions, with Geubbels now prepared to weigh up his options.

Youth terms mean that he is tied to Lyon until 2019, but interest in his services is likely to be stepped up from this point, as teams from France, England, Spain and Germany wait in the wings.

Geubbels’ uncle – former Charlton and Scunthorpe defender Kelly Youga – believes proposals will be welcomed from afar.

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He told 20 Minutes: “I gave my advice to his parents but his father wants Lyon to align with the sporting and financial projects of major European clubs. I doubt OL will do that for a 16-year-old.”

Geubbels was handed his senior debut in September 2017, becoming the first player born in the 21st century to grace Ligue 1.

He has since set the same record in Europa League competition, while also being promoted to the Under-18 fold on an international stage with France.