The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a strain on the global economy, including the suddenly extra fragile business of football.
While the biggest concerns at most Premier League clubs at the moment are potential furloughs for non-playing staff and wage cuts for others, in the lower leagues, there are serious problems that could lead to many clubs folding. England’s second division is already considering drastic steps about potential collective administration.
The situation is just as bad, if not worse, in certain parts of Europe. According to a report by L’Equipe (via Caught Offside), Olympique Lyonnais are no exception despite being one of the bigger clubs in Ligue 1, and could thus be forced into selling some of their players. While they may have left anyway even under normal circumstances, the current state of the world could force their hand even more.
Malgré les perturbations liées à la pandémie de coronavirus, l'OL devrait être attaqué par des grands clubs européens pour ses joueurs Moussa Dembélé et Houssem Aouar https://t.co/BVmgz0K6OC pic.twitter.com/DBJHGlcXim— L'ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) April 6, 2020
Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembélé are two of the three big-name stars at Lyon (Memphis Depay is the third), and as per the report, Lyon will try to sell Dembélé rather than Aouar first.
As usual, Chelsea and Manchester United are said to be the front-runners for the 23-year-old striker’s signature. Lyon/agents will try to maximize their profit of course by trying to create a bidding war.
Earlier, there were reports that Chelsea were ready to prioritize Dembélé over Timo Werner. If Lyon are ready to sell Dembélé for a non-preposterous price, he could very well be the man who competes with Tammy Abraham for the centre forward spot next season.