Lyon set to rival Barcelona, Aston Villa & Newcastle for Super Eagles midfielder

Reports in France indicate that seven-time Ligue 1 champions Olympique Lyonnais are pursuing Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi.

The 27-year-old has emerged as a hot commodity in the transfer market, with several top clubs expressing interest in acquiring his services.

Super Eagles and Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi
Photo by Icon Sport

Among those reportedly eyeing the Nigerian midfielder are European giants Barcelona, Juventus, and Galatasaray.

With Ndidi's contract set to expire in June, the prospect of securing his signature on a free transfer has only heightened the competition among potential suitors.

Is the Super Eagles midfielder heading to Lyon?

Ndidi played a pivotal role in Enzo Maresca's squad, directly contributing to 12 goals—scoring six times and providing six assists in 35 appearances as they earned promotion back to the English top flight.

The Super Eagles midfielder is open to new adventures but is willing to stay at Leicester with the club’s return to the Premier League if they can meet his wage demands.

According to FootMercato, with qualification for the UEFA Europa League secured, Olympique Lyonnais are wasting no time in planning their transfer market strategies.

One of the most exciting prospects on their radar is Wilfred Ndidi, a move they aim to finalize swiftly. After an impressive second half of the season following a poor start, Lyon, led by head coach Pierre Sage, clinched a brilliant 6th-place finish in Ligue 1, securing their return to European competition after a three-year hiatus.

They also reached the final of the French Cup but lost 2-1 to Paris St Germain. Lyon management have already started plans to rejig the squad and make them competitive not just on the domestic front but in Europe as well.

The Ligue 1 giants plan a midfield overhaul with Ndidi key to rebuilding. Changes to the Lyon squad are inevitable as they prepare for the upcoming season.

John Textor, actively involved in the club's affairs, is expected to invest in building a robust team under Pierre Sage's guidance.

Ndidi a key component of Lyon's plans for next season

Sporting directors Matthieu Louis-Jean and David Friio are already exploring various options, particularly to bolster the midfield.

While Maxence Caqueret and Nemanja Matić are considered key starters, Orel Mangala has struggled to establish himself consistently in the starting XI, managing only 8 appearances (4 starts).

Super Eagles and Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi
Photo by Icon Sport

The anticipated departures of Corentin Tolisso, Paul Akouokou, and potentially Johann Lepenant (likely on loan) underscore the need for reinforcements in midfield with Ndidi seen as someone who can solve the problems there.

Among the potential signings mooted by Lyon, Wilfred Ndidi stands out.

The Nigerian international has been on Lyon's radar for some time. Last summer, the club's interest did not materialise due to the complexity of the deal.

However, circumstances have now changed for the experienced 27-year-old box-to-box midfielder who is now a free agent and will come with no transfer fee, with his wages reportedly within Lyon's budget.

Ndidi's impressive track record

Lyon have been tracking the Nigerian who has an impressive track record, with 261 appearances (15 goals) across all competitions for Leicester City, including 192 Premier League matches.

This season, he performed well in the Championship despite an injury setback that made him miss Nigeria’s campaign at the Africa Cup of Nations in January, contributing 4 goals and 5 assists in 32 league games. Such performances make him an attractive addition for Lyon, especially considering the team will be campaigning on three fronts – Ligue 1, French Cup, and their return to Europe.

Super Eagles: Leicester boss delighted with Ndidi’s injury return
Photo by Icon Sport

An intriguing twist in the Ndidi saga is his contract situation. With his current deal expiring on 30 June, and Leicester's promotion back to the Premier League, Ndidi is set to return to top-flight football.

This presents Lyon with a potentially cost-effective opportunity to secure his services.

While Real Betis, Galatasaray and Everton have also shown interest in the former Genk player, Lyon are keen to make a decisive move for Ndidi’s signature as they see him as key to their plans for next season.

Ndidi, who is back in Nigeria for holidays, is keen to help Leicester in the Premier League next season if his demands are met.

However, he might want a new adventure and have a crack at Ligue 1 with Lyon, who have another Nigerian, Gift Orban, on their books.

The midfielder has also been invited by Nigeria coach Finidi George for next month’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin.

Lyon set to rival Barcelona, Aston Villa & Newcastle for Super Eagles midfielder
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a veteran Nigerian sports journalist with over 20 years of experience covering the beautiful game across Africa. Andrew served as a Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 Men's National Team for three years, offering a unique perspective on the future stars of Nigerian football.

Beyond reporting, Andrew is a pioneer in sports graphics creation within Nigeria. His expertise extends to sports kit design, making him a true multi-faceted talent in the African sports landscape.

Andrew's experience is vast, with collaborations encompassing prestigious names like Kickoff, SuperSport, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation), and the NPFL (Nigeria Professional Football League)