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23rd Sep 2016

Emmanuel Adebayor denies story that he smoked and asked for whiskey during Lyon talks

It was meant as a joke

Simon Lloyd

It’s been a hell of a ride for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Metz, Monaco, Arsenal and Manchester City. A loan stint at Real Madrid followed by a permanent switch to Tottenham. And then there was his brief period with Crytsal Palace, which ended with Alan Pardew deciding not to hand the Togolese striker a contract extentsion.

Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Premier League

As a result, Emmanuel is currently a free agent – despite coming mightily close to earning himself a deal with Lyon.

According to reports on Thursday, a meeting was held between Adebayor and the French club’s manager, Bruno Genesio, only for Lyon to pull the plug on the deal afterwards.

Quotes attributed to Genesio claimed that Adebayor’s behaviour during the talks were the reason Lyon cooled their interest.

“We had a place in our squad for Manu, so I arranged to meet him for a coffee in Lyon,” Genesio said, according to quotes that appeared in the Sun.

“But, to my surprise, when he arrived he asked for a shot of whiskey in his coffee. He also had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.” 

Probably not the best way for a well-travelled 32-year-old footballer to convince a potential new boss that he’s worth a contract.

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round

Admittedly, the story did seem a bit extreme, even for Adebayor.

Now, he’s released a statement, which explains that the story was wide of the mark and stemmed from a report in a French publication that was intended as a joke.

‘Usually I do not comment on any transfer negotiations or speculation but this time certain matters need to be cleared up.

Lyon wanted to sign me and offered to pay for a private jet from Togo to bring me to Lyon in order for me to sign ahead of their game against Marseille. The contract was all agreed and I was merely flying in to complete a medical and sign the paperwork.

Unfortunately, I could not get there in time to be registered for their game and they signed another young striker instead. They still asked if I could come and speak to the manager and director of football in order to establish if it would be possible to sign us both.

We all had a perfectly amicable meeting in Lyon but the coach felt it was not fair on the young player’s development to sign us both and I felt I would not get the requisite game time I needed to make this opportunity worthwhile. 

For the avoidance of doubt I only drank water at this meeting and did not ask for whiskey or have a cigarette.

This was a report that came out of a French newspaper and is not only ludicrous and ridiculous but was meant as a joke by the journalist. The statements have been retracted and the journalist is currently drafting an apology.

“Unfortunately the press in other countries couldn’t see that the journalist was being highly sarcastic and rewrote the story.’

We’re sure nobody doubted you, Emmanuel.

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