Lyon director Vincent Ponsot says “the club’s integrity is more important” than any signing after conceding defeat in his side’s pursuit of Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia.
Ligue 1 side Lyon reportedly negotiated a €13million fee for Netherlands international Malacia, plus €2m in add-ons, and had hoped to conclude the deal this week.
However, it has since been reported that Manchester United trumped Lyon with a £14.7m (€17m) offer for the 22-year-old, with an official announcement said to be close.
Speaking at the unveiling of Corentin Tolisso on Friday, Lyon chief Ponsot suggested his side are no longer in the running for Malacia due to the spiralling cost of the transfer.
“If we don’t have the means to recruit, we can’t bring in players of that level, generally speaking, whatever their love for Lyon might be,” he said.
“So it’s not a case of having the means, but I’m going to be very clear: the institution is always stronger than any player.
“Sometimes there are demands – that’s how it is in the world of football – that can’t be made.
“It’s true that it can sometimes collapse deals, but we want a left-back and we’ll find a good left-back.
“I think the president [Jean-Michel Aulas] is happy to be able to sleep soundly at night and not see the police show up in the morning. Likewise for me.”
— Ligue 1 English (@Ligue1_ENG) July 1, 2022
Malacia came through Feyenoord’s youth system and played 136 games for the Dutch side, including 50 appearances in all competitions last season.
The 22-year-old, capped five times by his country, is expected to be announced as Erik ten Hag’s first signing as United boss in the coming days.
“I can’t say everything. It’s still not been completed, ask yourself that question,” Ponsot said of interest elsewhere in Malacia.
“He still hasn’t signed, but for us it’s over. Because the club’s integrity is more important. We’re proud to be working for a club like this.”
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