Lyon break transfer record for Danish defender Andersen

Andersen (centre) becomes Lyon’s fifth major signing of the summer. — Reuters pic
Andersen (centre) becomes Lyon’s fifth major signing of the summer. — Reuters pic

LYON, July 12 — Lyon have completed the signing of Danish defender Joachim Andersen from Serie A side Sampdoria on a five-year deal for a fee rising to a club record €30 million (RM138.8 million), the French outfit announced today.

OL said in a statement they had agreed to pay Sampdoria an initial €24 million for the 23-year-old, with a further €6 million in potential bonuses.

That means the 1.90m tall centre-back becomes the club’s most expensive player ahead of Brazilian midfielder Thiago Mendes, who signed from Lille for €26.5 million earlier this month.

Formerly with Twente Enschede in the Netherlands, Andersen moved to Italy in 2017. He has yet to be capped by Denmark at full international level.

“Signing him was one of our priorities. We had watched him very closely. We are delighted to have him,” said Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

He is Lyon’s fifth major signing of the summer following the arrival of a new Brazilian management team, with club legend Juninho Pernambucano returning as sporting director and Sylvinho appointed coach.

As well as Andersen and Mendes, Lyon have signed Malian left-back Youssouf Kone from Lille for €9 million, young Brazilian midfielder Jean Lucas from Flamengo, and giant Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu from Nantes.

The spending spree has been funded by the big-money sales of French international duo Ferland Mendy and Tanguy Ndombele.

Left-back Mendy moved to Real Madrid for a fee reportedly reaching €53 million, while powerful midfielder Ndombele has signed for Tottenham Hotspur for up to €70 million.

Lyon will be in the Champions League again next season after finishing third in Ligue 1. — AFP

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