Friday, 11 October 2019

Lyon searching for a new coach

Hopes were high for Lyon after last season. They reached the Champions League knockout stage for the first time since 2012 and finished third in Ligue 1 before appointing former Arsenal and Barcelona defender Sylvinho as their new coach.

But after winning three of his first 11 games in charge, the rookie boss was sacked after Sunday's 1-0 defeat at St-Etienne left Lyon 14th, although fellow Brazilian Juninho remains as sporting director.

"Club president, Jean-Michel Aulas, initially wanted to take a step back and let Juninho run the club but he realised that he wasn't ready and, more importantly, that Sylvinho was just not the right guy for the club," said French journalist Laurens. "I think they made the right decision to sack him that early."

Former France and Paris St-Germain coach Laurent Blanc is the favourite to succeed Sylvinho, while ex-Roma and Marseille coach Rudi Garcia is also set to meet with Aulas.

"After thinking a bit outside the box with someone who is inexperienced, Lyon are now going to the other extreme," Laurens added. "Arsene Wenger was keen on the job but it's not going to happen.

"Jose Mourinho was also in contact with Lyon, he exchanged text messages with Aulas and turned down the opportunity to meet with him. Aulas has a strict process to name the next manager.

"He will meet the contenders on the shortlist then he and his people, like Gerard Houllier and Bernard Lacombe, will decide who's the best. Jose could potentially have been on that list. I guess Lyon is just not big enough for Jose."

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