Former AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani admits Hugo Lloris nearly joined the Serie A champions four years before securing an £8 million move to Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur , speaking via Tuttomercatoweb.
In the summer of 2008, Lyon fought off competition from across the Alps to sign one of the most talented young shot-stoppers in European football.
Lloris, then a France U21 international, swapped Nice for Les Gones after being won over by the prospect of Champions League football, coupled with the sweet-talking ways of enigmatic president Jean-Michel Aulas. And Milan’s loss was certainly Lyon’s gain.
“This is a great opportunity for my career, (to join) France’s biggest club,” Lloris explained at the time.
Lyon, back in 2008, were Ligue 1 champions after all. Paris Saint-Germain, if you were wondering, narrowly avoided relegation that year.
“I think that Lyon is the right choice. In Milan, things were maybe not so simple,” a fresh-faced Lloris would add. “I felt Lyon wanted me more.”
AC Milan nearly signed Hugo Lloris before Tottenham Hotspur move
Had Lloris joined the Rossoneri instead, he’d have found himself under pressure to replace the legendary Dida; a man Galliani describes as ‘the strongest in the world’ in the mid-2000s.
“I agreed a deal for Lloris many years ago,” recalls the former Milan chief; now working alongside Silvio Berlusconi again at Serie A newcomers Monza.
“(Fellow goalkeeper Christian) Abbiati was to go to Palermo, and Hugo Lloris was going to arrive in his place. But it didn’t go like this.”
Now 35, Lloris should remain Tottenham’s number one for at least another couple of seasons. He signed a new contract back in January. Next summer, meanwhile, will see France’s World Cup-winning captain celebrate his tenth year anniversary as a Spurs player.
Lloris has started all seven of Tottenham’s seven Premier League games so far this season; rolling back the years with a truly astounding save during the 6-2 thumping of Leicester City.