Lille head coach Christophe Galtier has admitted that he is resigned to losing striker Victor Osimhen and centre-back Gabriel over the course of the summer transfer window.
The side from the north east of France narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification next season after finishing fourth in a prematurely ended Ligue 1 campaign, and given their already awkward financial position are likely to be forced into numerous sales over the summer months.
Osimhen and Gabriel have both attracted many suitors over recent months, with both players hotly linked with a switch to Napoli, while the Brazilian defender has also been associated with Everton.
Galtier, who explained that Osimhen has not been training with the club following the loss of his father, does not expect either to be in the team that takes to the field in mid-August when Ligue 1 will open up the 2020-21 campaign.
“I can confirm that both Gabriel and Victor are likely to depart. I’ve expected it for a long time,” he said. “They are working very seriously and we’re working currently with the players who are currently here who are likely to replace them and obviously on future players who will come to us to replace them in their posts.
“We’ve not talked much about the transfer window. Players have been or are being contacted. There will be a delayed transfer window. I believe it will run until October 5. That shows how complex the start of the season will be. I don’t know exactly when the windows will be open abroad.”
Previously, Lille president Gerard Lopez indicated that he hopes to raise as much as €80 million (£72.5m/$90m) from the sale of Osimhen – matching the deal that took Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal last season.
“People didn’t believe that we had such big offers for Pepe,” he told the Daily Mail. “Let me tell you that with Osimhen, it’s the same thing.”
Meanwhile, Galtier reported some positive news for Lille in terms of the players who were running out of contract, with former Chelsea striker Loic Remy closing in on a new deal along with ex-Southampton man Jeremy Pied, who was a bit-part player last term.
“There’s a very good chance they will stay with us,” he confirmed. “They want it and we want it. We’re close to an agreement, but it’s not done yet.”