Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas claims manager Bruno Genesio and his backroom staff took the decision to sign Jean-Philippe Mateta ahead of Emmanuel Adebayor.
Free agent Adebayor was expected to join the Ligue 1 club last week, only for the deal to fall through. Lyon cited concerns over the 32-year-old’s lack of availability during the Africa Cup of Nations and his ineligibility for the Champions League group stage, prompting an angry rebuke from the ex-Arsenal player.
Teenage forward Mateta has instead been recruited from Chateauroux, with Aulas hinting the acquisition of the 19-year-old on a five-year deal is likely to prove better business than handing a short-term contract to the veteran Adebayor.
“Two players were approached. For Mateta there was [interest from] Juventus and other French clubs. Emmanuel Adebayor had agreed to come two days late. You could make a transfer on one hand and a big payday on the other.
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