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Lyon to appoint sporting director to assist under-fire Genesio

Lyon (AFP) – Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas on Tuesday defended under-fire coach Bruno Genesio while at the same time announcing the recruitment of a new sporting director.

Lyon — Europa League semi-finalists — are fourth in Ligue 1 and have failed to qualify for the Champions League next season.

“We’re not planning on changing coach,” said Aulas. “There is no definitive decision, it will be taken after a meeting of the administrative council which will endorse what I request.”

“Bruno Genesio has the qualities which will allow Lyon to prosper in the long run and there is a lot of risk in changing coach. The management committee are of the same view as me.”

Aulas said however they were going to try a number of things to boost the coaching team with the arrival of a new sporting director.

Among those being touted is former star Brazilian playmaker Juninho —  a winner of seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles with the club during their golden reign from 2002 to 2008 — and ex-France international and Lyon defender Eric Abidal, now among the backroom staff at Barcelona

“Why not,” said Aulas of 42-year-old Juninho. “He could have this profile. I haven’t spoken to him, I don’t know if he would be interested.”

Meanwhile Aulas said he had been “hurt” by comments made by veteran captain Maxime Gonalons, whose contract expires in 2018.

“I need to be challenged. I don’t want to stay at Lyon if they are in a slump,” the midfielder was quoted as saying.

Aulas said: “He’s the captain. He’s not young. There will be no contract extension this year.”

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