Football News

Lyon president reveals Zidane’s role in Mendy joining Real Madrid

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:42, 15 June 2019

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has admitted Zinedine Zidane called Ferland Mendy prior to his Real Madrid move.

The Frenchman joined Los Blancos on a six-year deal last week, with Lyon receiving an initial fee of £47.1m for the left-back.

Mendy signs for Real Madrid: Five things to know…

  1. Real Madrid recently confirmed the signing of Mendy from Lyon for £47.1m.
  2. The Frenchman joins Los Blancos on a six-year deal.
  3. He is one of four high-profile signings already this summer by the Spanish club.
  4. Lyon had been hoping to keep their highly sought-after left-back.
  5. But Lyon’s president has admitted a personal call from Zinedine Zidane sealed Mendy’s future.

It had been a long-anticipated move as part of Real Madrid’s summer overhaul, with Mendy joining Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao and Rodrygo Goes as the new arrivals.

And despite Lyon wanting to keep their highly sought-after full-back, president Aulas admitted Mendy’s mind was made up after a call from Real Madrid manager Zidane.

“Florentino Perez and I are very good friends, and this always influences negotiations,” he told Marca.

“It was Zidane’s request, yes. When he called [Mendy], he couldn’t resist.”

Mendy is not the first player to switch Lyon for Real Madrid, with Mariano Diaz, Karim Benzema and Mahamadou Diarra previously making the move – though Diaz did initially start at Los Blancos.

But it appears Lyon have wasted little time in replacing Mendy for the upcoming season, with Aulas confirming a new arrival.

“We’ve signed another player, Heritier Deyonge [from PSV Eindhoven], who has the same characteristics and is a prospect for the future,” he added.

“He’s Belgian and is 17 years old.”

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Mendy bids farewell to Lyon

Despite spending just two years with Lyon, signing from Le Havre in 2017, Mendy quickly played himself into the hearts of the club’s fans – and it appears they have left the same mark on him.

In a message on his Twitter account released shortly after the deal was confirmed Mendy wrote: “Very proud and honoured to commit myself today to the biggest club in the world, and join a coach who, I am sure, will make me progress even further.

“I would like to thank Olympique Lyonnais, its president, its staff, its supporters and more generally the entire club and my partners for these last two years. I wish them the best.

“I do not forget my family, my relatives, my trainers and all those who have accompanied me.

“I think of them tonight.”