Sagnol tells Lyon move for Sakho would be risky business

Lyon are reportedly chasing a deal for Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho, but former World Cup star Willy Sagnol has raised concerns.

Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho   -  Getty Images

Lyon would be taking a major risk by signing Mamadou Sakho from Crystal Palace, former France star Willy Sagnol has warned.

The defender has been strongly linked in recent days with a switch to OL, which next season will be aiming to atone for a disappointing 2019-20 campaign.

Sakho, 30, joined Palace in 2017 after spells at Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain and has won 29 caps for France, albeit just two since 2015.

Injuries have impeded Sakho this season and he has made just six Premier League starts for Palace during the disrupted campaign, which has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That appearance record is what worries ex-Bayern Munich defender Sagnol, who is concerned Lyon may face a hefty price tag for a player with a track record for missing a large number of games.

Sagnol, France's 2006 World Cup right-back, told French broadcaster RMC's After Foot show: "When an English club allows a player who is just 30 to leave, it's not a good sign.

"The Premier League demands a lot physically, athletically and in terms of intensity. It's a league that wears you out.

"In terms of character, yes, I think he can bring a lot to this team. The lack of character has been a recurrent evil at Lyon for three or four years. But he can only bring that if he isn't injured regularly."

Sagnol admitted he had not seen Palace or Sakho in recent action, adding: "But I think if he had been in good form, we would have seen him back in the France team.

"We haven't seen him back and that's not very positive. For me, when we have a big transfer in terms of price and salary, you have to reduce the risks of a mistake for French clubs. With this, I think there are a lot of risks."

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