Tuesday 25 October 2016

Emmanuel Adebayor forced to deny smoking and drinking whiskey at Lyon meeting ahead of potential move

Jack Austin

Published 23/09/2016 | 09:45

Emmanuel Adebayor is without a club after his Crystal Palace release. Getty Images
Emmanuel Adebayor is without a club after his Crystal Palace release. Getty Images

Emmanuel Adebayor has rejected stunning claims that the former Arsenal and Manchester City star turned up smoking and asked for a shot of whisky for his coffee during a meeting with French club Lyon.

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The 32-year-old is currently without a club having been released from Crystal Palace during the summer and met with the Ligue 1 side last week to discuss a potential move.

Adebayor said the move failed to materialise because Lyon were reluctant to release him to play for Togo in the Africa Cup of Nations in January, but reports in France have suggested it was because of the striker’s bizarre requests during the meeting, which included a private helicopter to take him to training, hiring famous chef Joel Robuchon as his personal chef and a villa with a swimming pool that has a view of Corsica.

Lyon’s manager is reported by Football France as saying: “We had a place in our squad for Manu, so I arranged to meet him for a coffee in Lyon.

“But, to my surprise, when he arrived he asked for a shot of whisky in his coffee. He also had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.”

However, Adebayor denied the claims and said the quotes were false, before adding he expected the reporter to make a full apology.

In a statement on Thursday, Adebayor said: “Usually I do not comment on any transfer negotiations or speculation but this time certain matters need to be cleared up,” said Adebayor.

“Lyon wanted to sign me and offered to pay for a private jet from Togo to bring me to Lyon in order for me to sign ahead of their game against Marseille. The contract was all agreed and I was merely flying in to complete a medical and sign the paperwork.

“Unfortunately I could not get there in time to be registered for their game and they signed another young striker instead. They still asked if I could come and speak to the manager and director of football in order to establish if it would be possible to sign us both.

“We all had a perfectly amicable meeting in Lyon but the coach felt it was not fair on the young player’s development to sign us both and I felt I would not get the requisite game time I needed to make this opportunity worthwhile.

“For the avoidance of doubt I only drank water at this meeting and did not ask for whisky or have a cigarette.”

Independent News Service

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