Adebayor bites back after wild claims over his aborted Lyon move

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Adebayor failed to make his mark at Crystal Palace last season
Adebayor failed to make his mark at Crystal Palace last season

Emmanuel Adebayor has emphatically rejected claims that he was “smoking and drinking whiskey” as he held transfer talks with French side Lyon.

Former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham striker Adebayor is a free agent and allowed to sign for clubs outside of the transfer window, with Lyon boss Bruno Genesi making some extraordinary claims about the striker whose move to France fell through.

“We had a place in our squad for Manu, so I arranged to meet him for a coffee in Lyon,” said Genesio, in quotes appearing in The Sun.

“To my surprise, when he arrived he asked for a shot of whisky in his coffee. He also had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.”

Adebayor has been quick to reject those accusations, as he offered up this more credible version of events of his a move that he believes came close to being completed.

“Lyon wanted to sign me and offered to pay for a private jet from Togo to bring me to Lyon in order for me to sign ahead of their game against Marseille,” said Adebyaor.

“The contract was all agreed and I was merely flying in to complete a medical and sign the paperwork.

“Unfortunately, I could not get there in time to be registered for their game and they signed another young striker instead.

“They still asked if I could come and speak to the manager and Director of Football in order to establish if it would be possible to sign us both.

“We all had a perfectly amicable meeting in Lyon but the coach felt it was not fair on the young player’s development to sign us both and I felt I would not get the requisite game time I needed to make this opportunity worthwhile.

“For the avoidance of doubt I only drank water at this meeting and did not ask for whisky or have a cigarette.

“This was a report that came out of a French newspaper and is not only ludicrous and ridiculous but was meant as a joke by the journalist.

“The statements have been retracted and the journalist is currently drafting an apology.

“Unfortunately the press in other countries couldn’t see that the journalist was being highly sarcastic and rewrote the story.

“The above facts can be supported by the Lyon manager, director of Football and president. I wish Olympique Lyonnais all the best of luck for the forthcoming season.”

The idea of Adebayor smoking and boozing his way through transfer talks is a little more exciting than his version of this story, yet his comments quickly put some perspective on a tale that would have discouraged potential employers from making a move for the veteran Togo forward.

That said, anyone who takes on the controversial 32-year-old striker who flopped during his spell with Crystal Palace last season would still be taking a huge gamble.