Lyon's interest in completing a summer return for former striker Clinton N'Jie has been confirmed. The Cameroon international spent his formative years with the Ligue 1 club, scoring eight goals and registering nine assists during an impressive 2014-15 season before joining Tottenham Hotspur in a £12m ($15.7m) deal last August.
Brought in to help gradually ease the burden on first-choice frontman Harry Kane, N'Jie endured a difficult maiden campaign at White Hart Lane and failed to score at all during 14 appearances across all competitions.
His attempts to adapt were made all the more difficult by serious knee ligament damage suffered in a European tie against AS Monaco before Christmas that required surgery and kept the player, who has yet to start a single game in the Premier League, sidelined for five months.
With Spurs choosing earlier this month to draft in prolific Dutch striker and last year's Eredivisie top scorer Vincent Janssen to provide necessary competition for Kane up front, suggestions that the 25-year-old could make a swift return to France have gathered pace. Marseille were expected to sign him on loan as part of the rumoured £10.9m deal taking pacy winger Georges-Kevin Nkoudou to North London, although it could be that a second stint with Lyon holds more appeal.
N'Jie was omitted from Mauricio Pochettino's 24-man squad for International Champions Cup ties against Juventus and Atletico Madrid in Melbourne, but the manager subsequently claimed that the decision to leave him behind was motivated by a fresh injury sustained a few days before the start of pre-season, rather than any imminent exit.
"We were interested in N'Jie," Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas told Foot Mercato. "I think my friend Daniel Levy, the president of Tottenham, had more desire to loan him to Marseille, but I think that N'Jie, would rather come back to Lyon because he knows what maybe awaits him in Marseille. We saw last season that he's a sensitive guy – it's difficult to arrive at a club that you don't know."
Aulas has also been speaking on the future of Wissam Ben Yedder. New reports from France cited by The Sun on Tuesday (26 July) claim that the Toulouse forward is expected to announce by the end of the week whether he intends to join Arsenal or reigning Europa League champions Sevilla in an £8m deal, yet it seems that fellow suitors Lyon are not giving up the chase just yet.
"We made an offer for him at the beginning of the window," he said. "He had the chance to leave, he did not leave. I think therefore that puts a number of options into perspective. Ben Yedder can play in several positions, it is therefore normal that we are more interested in him than others."