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Said Benrahma may be forced back to West Ham as Lyon placed under transfer embargo

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The much-anticipated transfer deal to secure Said Benrahma’s loan move from West Ham to Lyon on a permanent basis hangs in the balance, threatened by a dark cloud ensnaring the French club.

Lyon, equipped with a £15 million option to buy Benrahma, find themselves navigating through unexpected hurdles, putting the deal on the brink of collapse.

Contrary to widespread assumption, Lyon’s option to purchase Benrahma stands as a choice, not an obligation. However, Lyon’s current predicament, ensnared in a transfer embargo, poses a formidable obstacle.

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The club awaits a potential lifeline this summer, hoping for the lifting of the embargo to proceed with securing Benrahma’s services permanently. Lyon’s financial affairs have drawn scrutiny from France’s football financial watchdog, DNCG, due to irregularities in the budget presented by Lyon’s leadership under John Textor, per West Ham Football.

Referee Darren England shows a red card to West Ham United’s Algerian midfielder #22 Said Benrahma (R) following a tackle on Bristol City’s English midfielder #08 Joe Williams (unseen) during the English FA Cup third round replay football match between Bristol City and West Ham United at the Ashton Gate Stadium, in Bristol on January 16, 2024. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) 

Said Benrahma’s permanent transfer from West Ham to Lyon remains unclear

Without the DNCG’s green light, Lyon remain unable to recruit new players permanently, including exercising their option on Benrahma.

Despite the regulatory hurdles, Benrahma’s performance on the pitch has been nothing short of stellar, particularly after overcoming a rocky start in Ligue 1. His remarkable form has earned him a regular place in Lyon’s first team, prompting the club’s keenness to seal the deal.

However, should Lyon falter in securing the necessary permissions, Benrahma faces the prospect of returning to West Ham.

The potential return to West Ham poses its own set of uncertainties, especially under the incoming stewardship of Julen Lopetegui. Whether Benrahma’s departure would align with Lopetegui’s plans remains speculative, yet it could also impact West Ham’s financial strategy. The £15 million earmarked for Benrahma’s transfer could have been pivotal in bolstering the club’s transfer budget, thus complicating their offseason plans.

Benrahma himself has previously shed light on his departure from West Ham, citing Lyon’s genuine interest as a decisive factor. Speaking to Telefoot, Benrahma expressed his conviction in joining Lyon, emphasising the support he feels from the city itself.

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