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Juventus to rival Real Madrid for Lyon star Ferland Mendy

Benfica v Lyon - International Champions Cup
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Ferland Mendy’s agent has claimed Juventus are interested in signing the Lyon star in the summer, despite reported interest from Real Madrid.

Upon completing a €5m transfer from Le Havre in 2017, Mendy has starred for Lyon in Ligue 1 ever since and was close to a switch to Barcelona last summer.

Blaugrana director Eric Abibal wanted the full-back to replace the Everton-bound Lucas Digne, but a Camp Nou move failed to materialise.

Now Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has reportedly made Mendy one of his targets in the summer transfer window as part of his plans for a massive overhaul in his squad. It’s understood the 23-year-old is viewed as a long-term replacement for Marcelo.

But interest in the one-time France international is very high, with Serie A champions Juventus and “half of Europe” now set to rival Los Blancos.

“Mendy’s been the leading light of a great season with Lyon, he’s only 23 years old, he’s debuted for France and now he’s at the centre of the market,” Mendy’s agent, Yvan Le Mee, told Tuttosport.

“Half of Europe wants him. Quality full-backs are an increasingly rare commodity. Just look at Lucas Hernandez, who moved to Bayern Munich for €80m.

“Mendy is even more complete: he’s effective at dribbles and crosses. He’s a French Marcelo when he attacks, but defensively he’s a combination of Alex Sandro and Chivu at his best.

“Mendy is left-footed, but he also has a good right foot that allows him to come inside often.

“Right now, left-back is a rare and expensive role. Lyon haven’t put Mendy on the market and President [Jean-Michel] Aulas would like to enjoy him for another season.

“However, it depends on the offers: if the right one arrives, especially at the level of sporting project, we’ll look for an agreement with Lyon, which can please everyone.

“Mendy’s decision will be based on technicalities, not just economic factors: otherwise we’d go to China.

“There have only been enquiries for him so far. I can say that, in England and Spain, there’s greater economic availability, but Serie A is always attractive for French players.

“Alex Sandro is a top left-back and it won’t be easy for Juve to replace him in the event of a transfer.

“Mendy is on the Bianconeri’s shortlist, as are all the big names. The friendship between [Andrea] Agnelli and Aulas can help, but ultimately only the numbers count for everyone.”

Mendy has managed three goals and assists in 42 appearances for Lyon this season.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 13: Lionel Messi of Barcelona holds off Ferland Mendy of Olympique Lyonnais during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais at Nou Camp on March 13, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)