Aulas reiterates Lyon stance over duo

Moussa Dembele

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas insists they will fight to keep hold of Moussa Dembele and Lucas Tousart this month.

Aulas has a reputation for being a tough man to negotiate with and Manchester United and Hertha Berlin look set to discover just how difficult he can be.

United have emerged as contenders to snap up Dembele after revealing that top-scorer Marcus Rashford is likely to be sidelined for at least six weeks.

The Red Devils, who sold Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan over the summer, are lacking options to deputise in the centre forward role with only winger Anthony Martial and teenager Mason Greenwood to pick from.

As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reportedly been urged by his scouting team to go after former Celtic hitman Dembele to solve their issues.

Dembele has hit 15 goals this season in Ligue 1, adding a further five across all competitions, and his departure would be a huge blow to Lyon’s hopes of challenging for a Champions League berth.

Meanwhile, Hertha Berlin have been heavily linked with a mid-season move for midfielder Tousart following some dazzling displays in Ligue 1.

The 22-year-old academy graduate has turned out 18 times this season, starting on 14 occasions, and has netted twice.

But it appears both clubs are going to fail in their attempts to do business with the French outfit after Aulas ruled out January outgoings.

“Our players are often targeted. We want Moussa Dembele and Lucas Tousart [linked with Hertha Berlin] to stay,” president Aulas told reporters.

“The latter has received significant offers. If he leaves, we will have to replace him first. But I think they will stay. Now is not the time for us to weaken our team.”