Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has explained why Manchester United will not sign Alexandre Lacazette this summer, noting that French football benefits financially from selling players to respective Ligue 1 sides rather than to teams abroad.
Reports earlier this month suggested that Man United were leading the race to sign the Frenchman after Atletico Madrid’s failed appeal against a transfer ban ruled out the prospect of him moving to Spain.
Lacazette, when asked about an alternative to Atletico, made it clear that he was open to a Premier League move following eight campaigns with Lyon.
But Aulas has noted that accepting offer from Paris Saint German for the striker would be more beneficial on a financial level than seeing him move overseas.
“I know Nasser suggested to Noel Le Graet [president of the French Football Federation] that he is not investing that much in French players because he thought other presidents of French clubs looked badly upon it,” he said.
“I want him to know that if he makes an offer for Alexandre at least equal to that of the other clubs bidding for him, then Alex can go to Paris without problem.
“I am a businessman and a modern club president. Transfer money must be reinvested into French football, as I always did when we were at the peak of our powers.
“When transfer money is shared abroad, it strengthens our competitors instead.”
France as a nation has always been a potent footballing superpower, but its league has, for many years, been subject to the whims of more powerful sides abroad, accentuating an imbalance of power that sees an outflow of talent significantly outweigh what comes in the other direction.
A more domestic policy that places emphasis on re-investing profits into Ligue 1 would benefit a side like Lyon, and Mourinho is therefore wise not to expend his efforts preparing an offer they cannot refuse and instead focus on the likes of Alvaro Morata and Andrea Belotti – two talented 23-year-olds that, according to reports, could arrive before pre-season starts.