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Manchester United could benefit from fire sale at Olympique Lyonnais

by Vatsal Gupta

Olympique Lyon are braced for a fire sale of their top prospects and Manchester United are reported as one of the clubs who could benefit from it.

A report by The Express claims that the French club needs to raise £111 million in sales to avoid getting sanctioned by the organisation that oversees the accounts of French clubs.

Consequently, Lyon could be forced to sell their most valuable players for the right price.

Chief among them is wunderkind Rayan Cherki, who has been a highly-exciting prospect for a few years now and had his breakout season last year. He put up four goals and six assists in 34 appearances in Ligue 1. Having been linked to PSG earlier, the path could be clear now for United as the Parisians have signed Marcos Asensio.

Bradley Barcola is another name who could be on the club’s radar. He would fill the problem position at the club- the No 9 slot. Barcola scored five goals and notched nine assists in 26 appearances in his breakout season as a 20-year-old.

Besides these two attackers, centre-back Sinaly Diomande and Castello Lukeba could also be had for the right price. The latter, particularly, is someone to keep an eye out as United have previously been credited with an interest in him.

Rounding up the five-man shortlist is Thiago Mendes, who might be a tough sell considering his age. He turned 31 in March.

Manager Erik ten Hag is eager to strengthen his attack and midfield this window and the likes of Cherki and Barcola could be low-risk, high-reward options.

French Ligue 1 is increasingly becoming a breeding ground for world-class talent and Lyon, particularly, have a sterling record with youth prospects.

Clubs in France beyond PSG are facing a cash crunch after a collapsed broadcasting deal with Mediapro. A new agreement, where they are seeking a three times increase on their current deal, could soothe some of the concerns.

However, till then, the only way for these clubs to be sustainable is to groom young talent into superstars and sell them for value.

The report states that United could be rivalled by Chelsea for some of these prospects.

The Blues are undergoing a transformation of their own under new owners, with attack again a point of priority. They’re already close to signing Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal and could be looking to add to their ranks further.

Erik ten Hag and the club will need to act swiftly if such talented players are likely to be had on a bargain.

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