Juninho, here on August 6 in Turin before the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League between Juve and OL.
Nicolò Campo / Sipa USA / SIPA
Juninho gave a very long interview this Tuesday to RMC Sport.
With his usual frankness, the sports director of OL in particular confessed to having tried to recruit Thiago Silva in recent months, at the end of his contract with PSG.
Besides Alexandre Lacazette, whom he considered on loan during the last winter transfer window, “Juni” dreams of bringing Samuel Umtiti and especially Karim Benzema back to their training club.
Lyon supporters will hardly be able to blame Juninho for lacking in daring in his desire to recruit.
In a very long interview with RMC Sport on Tuesday, the sporting director of OL first said of himself having thought in January of a return of Alexandre Lacazette to his training club.
"I called him to chat a bit with him because he had a bit of problems with Arsenal," recalls the Brazilian.
I said to him: '' Why not a six month loan with us where you will have fun, play every game and score goals like you can?
And then you go back to Arsenal or elsewhere. ''
But as long as you look at the contract level of this type of player, it's not for us today.
A finding that also applied to former PSG captain Thiago Silva, recruited by Chelsea ... after being considered there also by "Juni".
“I dreamed of this player,” he admits, smiling.
I tried to reach him several times.
I spoke a little with his agent at the beginning but I understood immediately that it was impossible.
For me, Thiago Silva is still one of the best defenders in the world.
I could tell him: '' Play 22 games, stay two years with us and then maybe we can find something for you here to start a new life. ''
OL-Juventus: How did the “hyper honest” Juninho become “legitimate” as a sports director?
https://t.co/BCImeK0TQB via @ 20minutesLyon pic.twitter.com/Dg0lgwi2sK
- 20 Minutes Lyon (@ 20minuteslyon) February 26, 2020
"Karim could perhaps do two seasons and wear the armband at OL"
Juninho still has two crazy bets in mind, namely famous former members of the "formidable academy", rivals for four years in La Liga.
And yes, Samuel Umtiti and Karim Benzema, which would still have the mouth.
"Today, we must tell the truth, we can not pay the salary of an Umtiti, confides the Lyon sports director about the Barça defender, mentioned by some media to facilitate the transfer of Memphis Depay to Catalonia.
But if the player is looking for a project, if he is making an effort with perhaps a longer contract, if he wants to go home, then I will look for it right away.
We are not there yet, you will understand, and it is even more true for the former teammate of "Juni", currently at the top of his game at 32 years old at Real Madrid.
“With all of his history, it's everyone's dream here to see Karim finish with us.
It's interesting, even for him, if he agrees to come back, not to really get to the downswing, but I think he's someone who pays a lot of attention to him physically and who has significant physical capacities.
Maybe he could do two seasons here, be a leader and wear the armband.
Are we going to succeed?
I do not know.
Of course, it will take an effort because we can not pay the salary he receives at Real Madrid.
We are waiting for the right moment.
There were some great approaches, there is a lot of respect between us.
“In the first season, I was a little naive, I got carried away,” admitted Juninho at the start of the interview.
The future will quickly tell us if this was also the case with his dreams of XXL recruits for OL, Karim Benzema in the lead.
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