"Nonsense!" Adebayor slams Lyon for failed move

The Togolese striker isn't happy about how the club handled his botched up transfer talks

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Togolese International Emmanuel Adebayor has emotionally called out French Club Lyon, accusing them of posing a "ridiculous excuse" for not signing him.

The former Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Real Madrid striker seemed set to sign for the French giants last week after holding talks with coach Bruno Genesio, only for the move to fall through in the last minute.

The seven-time French champions said in a statement that the break down was due to his ineligibility for the Group phase of the Champions League, as well as his his insistence on representing his country Togo at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, which would lead to "an absence of one or two months."

The 32-year-old, who has been a free agent since his contract with English side Crystal Palace expired, was speaking to French newspaper L'Equipe.

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“They said that? That’s nonsense. They came to me after we had qualified [for the Africa Cup of Nations]," he fumed.

“They knew I was going to play. If they start looking for such excuses, they will kill themselves. I’m the captain of my country, so how could I not go? What if a Frenchman refused to play in the Euros?”

He then went on to narrate his side of the story: “I arrived on Friday morning to speak to the coach,” he added. “I thought it was just a medical then to sign. The coach asked me surprising questions. He wanted to know if I was married, if I had a kid.

Emmanuel Adebayor play

Emmanuel Adebayor

 

“I’ve been playing at the highest level for 15 years and I have worked with some of the best coaches in the world – Arsène Wenger, José Mourinho, Didier Deschamps, Roberto Mancini. He asked me why it didn’t work at Crystal Palace. I told him that I’ve always played for teams aiming for the English title or a European title. It’s the first time I’ve been in a team battling relegation and the play didn’t suit me.

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“I think the Champions League win against [Dinamo] Zagreb changed things. There’s a little disappointment obviously because I really liked Lyon, like I said to the coach. If they didn’t want me, why did they make a ridiculous excuse?

“But I’m stronger than that in my head. I could have died in 2010 so nothing can touch me today. I will move on to something else, even if this was a really funny chapter.”

Despite a love-hate relationship with Togolese football authorities, Adebayor is his country's undoubted international star, having played for the Hawks for the last 16 years, wielding record caps and goals.

Although he scored only once in 2017 Afcon qualifying, he is expected to remain key for the Togolese in Gabon early next year.

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