2008–09 Olympique Lyonnais Season - News


Following the season, it was announced by Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas that manager Alain Perrin would not be returning despite being the first Lyon manager to win the double. Lyon management attributed the firing to "Perrin's several malfunctions that affected the squad daily throughout the season" and their constant failure in Europe. Following an extensive search, which linked the Lyon managerial position to several managers, including former Manchester United assistant and current Portugal national football team coach Carlos Queiroz, Brazilian manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo, and former French players and managers Didier Deschamps and Laurent Blanc to name a few, it was announced on June 18, 2008 that Lille OSC manager Claude Puel would succeed Perrin.

With the managerial search going on, Lyon made several transfers. However, before the managerial search even began, Lyon made a big transfer, signing Brazilian midfielder Ederson from OGC Nice in January for €15m. The summer transfers included Hugo Lloris (€8.5m) who was brought in to replace to outgoing Grégory Coupet, Miralem Pjanić (€7.5m), Jean II Makoun (€14m), and John Mensah (€8.4m), who was brought in to replace to outgoing Sébastien Squillaci.

Following last year promotions of youth players Sandy Paillot, Anthony Mounier, and Romain Beynié from the youth scheme to the professional squad, Lyon signed another set of youth players to professional contracts. Midfielders Pierrick Valdivia (no relation to Chilean playmaker Jorge Valdivia), Clément Grenier and Saïd Mehamha, and striker Yannis Tafer were promoted to the first-team squad, although they will still play on Lyon's second squad in the CFA. Lyon also sign young prospect Timothée Kolodziejczak from Lens. Timothée, who is a teammate of Tafer and Grenier on the international stage, will initially move to Lyon on a loan with a purchase clause likely to occur at a later date. Also in an effort to increase their youths playing time, they re-loaned Sandy Paillot to Grenoble for the entire season and loaned out midfielder Romain Beynié to Belgian side A.F.C. Tubize.

Notable departures include Loïc Rémy, who moved to OGC Nice and French wunderkind Hatem Ben Arfa, who moved to rivals Olympique Marseille. The Ben Arfa move was put into speculation after Lyon officials argued that an agreement wasn't made between the two clubs. However, after a meeting between the two clubs, organized by the LFP, the transfer was back on. While the aforementioned central defender Sébastien Squillaci moved to Sevilla FC of La Liga.

Other departures include Grégory Coupet, who moved to Atlético Madrid, after spending 12 years with the club, Patrick Müller and Frédéric Roux, whose contracts expired on June 30, 2008, and Marc Crosas, who returned to Barcelona after spending the winter on loan with Lyon. While the inconsistent striker Milan Baroš moved to Turkish side Galatasaray S.K..

This summer also saw the departure of several Olympique Lyonnais youth players who will attempt to ply their trade elsewhere. Lossémy Karaboué, Alexandre Bouchard, and Aurélien Badin have moved to Ligue 2 sides CS Sedan, LB Châteauroux, and Troyes AC, respectively. The Italian Francesco Migliore moved to Belgian side R.A.E.C. Mons. The young striker Stephen Ettien move to Scottish side Hamilton Academical F.C., while Mohamed Bedda and Mickael Charvet earned trials at RC Strasbourg and OGC Nice, respectively.

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