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Lyon determined to keep Rayan Cherki this summer despite Chelsea interest

Lyon are reportedly determined to keep Rayan Cherki this summer despite interest from Chelsea. 

The Blues have been very active in this transfer window, offloading several of their unwanted players and bringing in Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson. 

However, they are looking to add another forward as a replacement for Christian Pulisic who is close to joining AC Milan in a £18 million deal. 

According to the Guardian, Chelsea have held talks with Lyon over a deal for the 19-year-old. 

However, the Ligue 1 outfit are determined to keep Cherki beyond the summer. 

The Frenchman is one of the top players to have emerged from Les Gones’ youth academy in recent years. 

Since making his competitive debut in 2019, he has made over 100 senior appearances for the club.

He bagged five goals and six assists in 39 appearances across all competitions last season, helping his side finish seventh in the table. 

Cherki also took part in the under-21 European Championship and was impressive for France. 

He netted two goals and an assist despite Les Bleus suffering a disappointing quarter-final exit. 

Lyon do not want to part with their most prized asset this summer and would reportedly demand around £50 million transfer fee from Chelsea. 

The club’s transfer activity and wage bill will be monitored by French football’s financial watchdog DNCG, a decision imposed in December after John Textor’s takeover of the club. While the situation doesn’t require Lyon to sell players to raise funds, a strong offer from Chelsea could be difficult to refuse.

As per the Guardian, Textor is still weighing up whether to appeal against the DNCG’s decision but is believed to have acknowledged that Lyon may be forced to live with the restrictions of being allowed to spend £20m this summer. The new owner had to inject an additional £54m into the club by the end of last month after the DNCG rejected a last-gasp attempt to move Eagle Football’s share capital in his other clubs – Crystal Palace, Molenbeek and Botafogo – into Lyon’s holding company.

Chelsea will be counting on Lyon’s financial issues to push through a sale at a favourable fee.

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