Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is relishing the chance to face big-spending Paris Saint-Germain in the coming season, despite being widely touted for a switch from Ligue 1 to the Premier League.
The France international has been heavily linked with a move to England this summer, with North London duo Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur both said to be keen on signing the 25-year-old shot-stopper.
But, speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, Lloris explained that he was focussed on pushing for the French league title, and he believes Carlo Ancelotti's side will be the team to beat.
"Aside from us, I would say PSG [are among the favourites for the title]," Lloris explained. "They are a talented team. They have spent a lot of money and have some very good players. The pressure will really be on them to prove they are the best."
Lloris quickly moved to play down the suggestion that any trophies PSG take to the French capital at the end of the coming season will have been 'bought', with the Qatari-owned club spending heavily on the likes of Thiago Silva, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi over the summer.
"This is modern football. All the great clubs buy the best players. I think it will make all the clubs in Ligue 1 better. It will also bring a lot of attention to our championship around the world and that is a good thing. I look forward to playing them."
Lyon, who won seven Ligue 1 championships between 2002 and 2008, won their first trophy of the new season by beating Montpellier in the Trophée des champions in New York on Saturday.
Lloris was the hero of the hour, saving from Henri Bedimo as Lyon won a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw.
"It felt good to be able to start the season off with a victory," the keeper said. "We came back to score twice. The shootout is a lottery, but we didn’t tremble under the stress. It's a symbolic victory, but one that will help us psychologically going into the season."
The former Nice custodian went on to explain that it was this mental stength that made OL so successful in recent seasons.
"We never give up. We refuse to lose. We have players who are combative all the time. Those are the qualities, I think, that have made us successful over the past few years. The French Super Cup is our 16th trophy in 11 years. That says a lot about our club’s success."
With Lloris speaking of his current club in such glowing terms, it seems Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas' claim that his No.1 would not be on the move could be more than just bartering.
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