Lyon break transfer record for Danish defender Andersen

LYON (AFP) – Olympique Lyon (OL) have completed the signing of Danish defender Joachim Andersen from Serie A side Sampdoria on a five-year deal for a fee rising to a club record EUR30 million, the French outfit announced on Friday.

OL said in a statement they had agreed to pay Sampdoria an initial EUR24 million for the 23-year-old, with a further EUR6 million in potential bonuses.

That means the 1.90m tall centre-back becomes the club’s most expensive player ahead of Brazilian midfielder Thiago Mendes, who signed from Lille for EUR26.5 million earlier this month.

Formerly with Twente Enschede in the Netherlands, Andersen moved to Italy in 2017. He has yet to be capped by Denmark at full international level.

“Signing him was one of our priorities. We had watched him very closely. We are delighted to have him,” said Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas.

Danish defender Joachim Andersen poses for a photo with his new jersey of the Olympique Lyonnais. – AFP

He is Lyon’s fifth major signing of the summer following the arrival of a new Brazilian management team, with club legend Juninho Pernambucano returning as sporting director and Sylvinho appointed coach.

As well as Andersen and Mendes, Lyon have signed Malian left-back Youssouf Kone from Lille for nine million euros, young Brazilian midfielder Jean Lucas from Flamengo, and giant Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu from Nantes.

The spending spree has been funded by the big-money sales of French international duo Ferland Mendy and Tanguy Ndombele.

Left-back Mendy moved to Real Madrid for a fee reportedly reaching EUR53 million, while powerful midfielder Ndombele has signed for Tottenham Hotspur for up to EUR70 million.

Lyon will be in the Champions League again next season after finishing third in Ligue 1.