Depay back from injury as Lyon return to training

Lyon returned to training on Monday, with the Champions League hopefuls having been at ease since the middle of March due to the coronavirus crisis.

Although the Ligue 1 season was confirmed to be over at the end of April, leaving OL controversially seventh in the standings and, therefore, without a European spot for next season, they are working with the second leg of their European tie against Juventus in mind.

With regards that fixture, the Rhone side have been boosted by the return of Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide, both of whom trained having missed out since December because of long-term knee injuries sustained in a clash against Rennes.

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The attacking midfielders had been two of Lyon’s outstanding players this season, with the Netherlands international, whose contract is up in the summer of 2021, particularly eye-catching as he scored nine times in 13 Ligue 1 matches, plus five in five in the Champions League.

Lyon hold a 1-0 advantage before the second leg in Turin, having dominated the opening fixture against Maurizio Sarri’s side and taken the initiative thanks to a goal from Lucas Tousart, who is due to join Hertha Berlin this summer.

Rudy Garcia’s side are the first French side back working since the virus ended the Ligue 1 campaign, with Lyon returning to the training pitch a full week before any of their top-flight rivals.

Although PSG will also play in the Champions League, albeit at a later date as they have already booked their passage through to the quarter-finals thanks to a 3-2 aggregate success over Borussia Dortmund, their return is slated for June 22 – the date Bordeaux, Montpellier, Rennes and Monaco will all go back.

For many Ligue 1 sides, the pre-season will be a particularly long one, with France’s top flight not scheduled for any action until the weekend of August 23, when the 2020-21 campaign will begin.

Meanwhile, the French transfer window opened on Monday, with deals permitted between domestic clubs in a bid to ease the financial anxieties of any sides straining under the pressure imposed by a lack of action in the last three months.

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