LENS LOSS PUTS FOCUS ON LYON PROBLEMS

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THE ongoing problems at Lyon have been galvanised by a bad start to the season and the sale of youngster Steed Malbranque to Fulham.

L'OL coach Jacques Santini is rumoured to be seeking a route out of the Championnat giants - who went down to a disappointing 2-0 loss at Lens on the opening day of the French season.

"I am disappointed to hear Santini say negative things about the club," stated chairman Jean-Michel Aulas, who was also disappointed that Malbranque (pictured) forced the club to sell him.

"It is selfishness personified," stated Aulas. "We educate the players, but maybe we should also teach them to appreciate that they are being educated."

The sale of the youngster, and the imminent loss of Vikash Dhorasoo has led to the renewal of two old links - to Sochaux's Camel Meriem and Nantes' French international Eric Carriere.

"I have received no offer for Camel, and I am not in awe of the big clubs," said Sochaux chairman Jean-Claude Plessis recently. "It is simple. The price is 55 million francs (c£5 million)."

Carriere has become part of the successful national set-up, but l'OL director Bernard Lacombe warned that fans should not let their expectations grow.

"Carriere, who is 28, is older than the 21-year-old Meriem, but one thing is for certain - we won't buy them both," said Lacombe.

"First of all we want time to look at the players we have sold, and decide what is available to us."