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Tuesday, 25 April, 2000, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Lyon line up Leboeuf

Leboeuf has suffered disciplinary problems this season
French First Division club Lyon have said they are ready to sign Chelsea's World Cup-winning defender Frank Leboeuf.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas attended Chelsea's 3-2 defeat at Manchester United on Monday and admitted he was in England "to buy a player".

It is believed they are willing to spend 4m to bring the 32-year-old back to France.

Leboeuf's place at Stamford Bridge had been thrown into doubt following the Blues' exit from the Champions' League last week and their recent struggles in the Premiership.



I'm trying to build something here and I need to know who wants to be part of it and who has the right spirit.

Gianluca Vialli
Manager Gianluca Vialli has been disappointed by his team's efforts this year and the Old Trafford defeat prompted an uncharacteristic public outburst over the commitment of some of his players.

Vialli said: "In this last month I have begun to realise who wants to stay with Chelsea, give their best and die on the pitch for this club... and who does not.

"I'm trying to build something here and I need to know who wants to be part of it and who has the right spirit."

Leboeuf, who helped France to victory in the 1998 World Cup final, was seen by many experts as one of the main targets of Vialli's displeasure.

The bald centre-back has been a crucial player in Chelsea's revival in recent seasons since joining from Strasbourg four years ago.

But his form has fluctuated this season, amid a string of disciplinary problems, and his place has been under threat since the arrival of Brazilian Emerson Thome from Sheffield Wednesday.

Lyon are currently second in the First Division but despite a French record spending spree last summer have already been beaten to the title by Monaco.

Club president Aulas is keen to strengthen his hand before next season with the club set to win a place in the Champions League.

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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.