Lille’s future manager Hervé Renard has made Lorient’s Ghanaian striker Jordan Ayew his top summer target when he takes charge of the team next week.
The Côte d’Ivoire national coach is expected to be officially appointed as the French Ligue 1 outfit’s new boss on a three-year contract next week.
Already busy preparing for the 2015-2016 campaign, Renard is desperate to sign the 23-year-old Ghana international, with whom he worked at Sochaux in his first spell in the top tier of French football last season, according to L’Equipe.
Ayew has just enjoyed his best season to date in the Ligue 1 with 12 goals and six assists to his name.
The former Zambia coach is also very keen on reuniting with TP Mazembe attacking midfielder and ex-Chipolopolo protégé Rainford Kalaba, as well as extending the stay of Nigerian ace keeper Vincent Enyeama in the north of France, the French newspaper has confirmed.
Renard, whose deal with the Ivoirian football association runs until 2016, is expected in Abidjan to terminate his contract with the FIF on Wednesday.
The Côte d’Ivoire officials should make it easy for the Frenchman and his assistant Patrice Beaumelle, who is following his boss to LOSC, after the two led the Elephants to continental glory at the Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015.
Renard, who led the Elephants to triumph at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea, still has 18 months left on his contract and a release clause of €400 000.
The 46-year-old manager has reiterated his desire to handle a club side and practice daily football unlike a national team.
Lille have indicated they would part ways with current coach René Girard and have prepared a three-year deal, which includes a monthly salary of €60 000, for Renard, if the former Sochaux coach accepts to return to France.
Renard would likely depart with his charismatic assistant trainer Patrice Beaumelle if he accepts Lille’s proposal, leaving the African champions without a coach ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
In a statement last month, the former Zambia coach deplored a financial scandal involving bonuses for Ivory Coast’s victory at the 2015 Afcon, which were partly embezzled by officials yet to be fished out.
According to the Ivorian ministry of interior affairs, more than $800 000 were stolen from the funds destined for the Elephants and the technical staff, which saw the dismissal of the sports minister and a couple of other top officials.
Ivory Coast are in Group I of the 2017 Afcon qualifying against host Gabon, who have already qualified, Sudan and Sierra Leone.
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