x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Lyon winger Michel Bastos grows impatient over delay

Brazil international scores in Ligue 1 opener but feels unsettled as his move to UAE Pro League side Al Ain is not finalised yet.

The possibility of staying at Lyon does not bother Michel Bastos, but he is eager for Al Ain to respond. Jeff Pachoud / AFP
The possibility of staying at Lyon does not bother Michel Bastos, but he is eager for Al Ain to respond. Jeff Pachoud / AFP

AL AIN // Michel Bastos, the Lyon winger, has vented his frustration at the difficulty in sealing a transfer to Al Ain.

The Brazil international agreed three weeks ago to join the Pro League champions, yet the move stalled as the clubs failed to come to an agreement regarding the fee.

Emmanuel de Kerchove, the player's representative, revealed last week Al Ain had committed, verbally at least, to pay between €7.5 million and €8m (Dh34.4m and Dh36.7m) for his client, and that a written offer was expected within days.

However, Lyon have had no response from the Garden City club and sources close to Bastos told The National they are growing increasingly exasperated by the impasse. Bastos's camp has tried repeatedly to contact representatives from Al Ain, but as of yet has had little success.

Despite the distractions, Bastos has started the Ligue 1 season well, coming off the bench to score in Friday night's 1-1 draw at Evian TG – his second goal in two games.

The 29 year old acknowledged afterwards, though, that the speculation surrounding his future has made it difficult to concentrate on his performances for the seven-time French champions.

"I'm trying to put aside all my worries when I get on to the pitch, which has worked so far, but it's not just me – my family are awaiting a decision," Bastos said. "Today, I'm still with Lyon; I haven't gone, although maybe it will be tomorrow, in a year or two years.

"I've never hidden that I want a quick solution. If I have to go it has to be decided soon. There is a proposal from Al Ain, which I liked, which I said yes to, but now things have dragged. We don't know where they are; there is nothing new. For now I must concentrate on my early season with the club I am at now."

Bastos, who has rejected approaches from Napoli, Olympiakos and Spartak Moscow as he waits for news from Al Ain, added that he could still stay at Stade Gerland.

"If I did not want to wear this [Lyon] shirt I would have said, but that's not the case," he said. "I'm at a big club, a club that allowed me to play at the top level. I cannot just turn my back on that.

"The situation is not easy to live with, but the possibility of staying in Lyon doesn't bother me at all," he added.

Al Ain are in the market for two foreign players following the departures of Yasser Al Qahtani and Ignacio Scocco, two players crucial to last season's title triumph. Bastos remains the club's primary target, yet Matar Al Sahbani, the Al Ain team manager, denied reports a deal for the Lyon player had been finalised.

Al Sahbani confirmed the club has been working hard to conclude the transfers of "excellent foreign players" and said he hoped to welcome the new signings to the team's pre-season training camp in Madrid.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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