Striker Sylvain Wiltord is to remain with the French champions Olympique Lyonnais after a transfer to Stade Rennais FC broke down over personal terms.
Sylvain Wiltord is to remain with French champions Olympique Lyonnais after a transfer to Stade Rennais FC broke down over personal terms.
The 33-year-old striker, who has scored 26 goals in 92 international appearances for France, will remain under contract at Lyon until next summer after vetoing the move to Rennes, his first professional club. "He could have gone," said Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas. "Everything was OK between us and Rennes and they just had to find an agreement with the player, but they did not."
The striker joined Lyon in the summer of 2004 after a three-and-a-half year spell at Arsenal FC, and proved to be a valuable acquisition as they won the 2004/05 and 2005/06 French titles. However, he was less effective during last season's Ligue 1 triumph due to a combination of injuries and wrangles with coach Gérard Houllier over club discipline.
Lyon, who enter the UEFA Champions League at the group stage, will kick off the defence of their Ligue 1 title against AJ Auxerre on Sunday with confidence high after defeating FC Sochaux-Montbéliard 2-1 in the Trophée des champions on Saturday. Goals from Sidney Govou and new captain Cris made sure of the win in a game that saw Fabio Grosso, Kader Keita and Mathieu Bodmer all make their debuts for Lyon.