Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor
Monday Sep 19, 2016. 09:42
Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor has said that Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyon used a “ridiculous excuse” not to sign him.
The Sparrow Hawks player was close to a move to the French side last week, with Lyon reportedly keen due to an injury sustained by leading striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Adebayor met with Lyon’s Bruno Genesio on Friday, with the coach claiming the Togolese “could indeed” sign at a pre-match press conference.
However, Lyon then pulled out of the deal to sign the free agent, apparently because they have concerns over him missing a large portion of action in the New Year when he could feature for Togo at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, as well as him being ineligible for the Champions League.
Adebayor has hit back by telling L'Equipe: "They said that? That's nonsense. They came to me after we had qualified [for the Africa Cup of Nations].
"They knew I was going to play. If they start looking for such excuses, they will kill themselves. I'm the captain of my country, so how could I not go? What if a Frenchman refused to play in the Euros?"
Adebayor revealed that terms were agreed on Tuesday and that Lyon wanted to send a private jet to Lome.
"I arrived on Friday morning to speak to the coach," he added. "I thought it was just a medical then to sign. The coach asked me surprising questions. He wanted to know if I was married, if I had a kid.
"I've been playing at the highest level for 15 years and I have worked with some of the best coaches in the world - Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho, Didier Deschamps, Roberto Mancini.
"He asked me why it didn't work at Crystal Palace. I told him that I've always played for teams aiming for the English title or a European title. It's the first time I've been in a team battling relegation and the play didn't suit me.
"I think the Champions League win against [Dinamo] Zagreb changed things. There's a little disappointment obviously because I really liked Lyon, like I said to the coach. If they didn't want me, why did they make a ridiculous excuse?
"But I'm stronger than that in my head. I could have died in 2010 so nothing can touch me today. I will move onto something else, even if this was a really funny chapter."