Lyon are hoping for a dream reunion with former striker Karim Benzema, according to sporting director Juninho.
The Real Madrid star began his career with the French outfit but left for the Bernabeu in 2009 and has since played more than 500 games for Los Blancos in a sparkling career delivering nine major trophies.
But his boyhood club have now pleaded with the 32-year-old to end his playing days at the Stade de Gerland as they brace for interest in their talisman Memphis Depay from Barcelona.
Juninho, a club legend with Lyon, said it was their ‘dream’ for Benzema to become ‘our leader and scorer’ and said his experience would be vital.
‘It is our dream that Karim ends with us,’ he said, as reported by the Sun.
‘It is the dream of everyone at Lyon, to bring him two seasons to play the Champions League and to be our leader and scorer.
Karim Benzema with a football ball on a field: Benzema started his career with Lyon and helped the club win the Ligue 1 title four times© Provided by Daily Mail Benzema started his career with Lyon and helped the club win the Ligue 1 title four times
‘We need your experience and it would help us win games.’
Their current captain Depay is being heavily linked with a switch to Barcelona, where he would link up with his Holland boss Ronald Koeman.
The Dutch star has been instrumental for Lyon during his 137 appearances for the club. He has scored 57 goals and has become one of their main attacking threats.
If he does end up joining Barcelona, they will need a replacement – and Benzema remains one of the most reliable goalscorers in the game.
Despite edging into his thirties, the Frenchman has still proven to be a reliable, top-level striker as he netted 27 goals in 48 games for Zinedine’s Zidane’s men last season, helping them to the LaLiga title.
When he was last at Lyon, he was used to winning trophies. He won four Ligue 1 titles and the French Cup during his time with the club and his continued experience of silverware would be of huge benefit.