Lyon target Algerian defender Aissa Mandi

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Algeria defender Aissa Mandi has reportedly attracted the interest of French Ligue 1 club Lyon.

According to L’Equipe, the Real Betis right back is ‘part of a four men transfer shortlist including Robson Bambu of Athletico Paranaense, Merih Demiral of Juventus and Marash Kumbulla of Hellas Verona’.

Lyon are reportedly eager to strengthen their defence and Mandi, who has been a regular for Real Betis in the Spanish LaLiga this season, has attracted their attention.

The tough-tackling defender, who has played 23 matches for Betis this season until the break caused by the coronavirus, is also on Atlético Madrid’s radar, the club who he was linked with last summer, and Newcastle United.

The Africa Cup of Nations winner has been with the Spanish club since 2016 following five years as part of Reims’ first team where he made 169 appearances. The defender is under contract at Betis until 2021 and his renewal has stalled, which may be good news for all his suitors.

The 28-year-old, who is also able to slot in at centre-back, signed for Betis for just shy of 3 million euros (R60 million), so Betis would make quite a big profit from the deal.

Capped 55 times for Algeria after making his international debut in 2014, Mandi played in six of his country’s seven games at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations; including their 1-0 win over Senegal in the final.

Lyon finished the 2019/20 French Ligue 1 season in seventh place on the log standings with the campaign having been cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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By Mthokozisi Dube

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