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Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas insists Karim Benzema will not be leaving the club in the summer despite interest from Manchester United.
France international Benzema is attracting the attention of a host of leading European teams thanks to his superb performances for Les Gones this campaign.

But Aulas claims the 20-year-old striker has given him assurances he will be staying at the Stade Gerland beyond this season.

Asked where Benzema will be playing in the 2008-09 season, Aulas said: "At Lyon. He is going to stay, he has confirmed that to me himself.

"We are going to keep Benzema next year so we can continue to progress. With Karim and also Hatem Ben Arfa, there is a lot of youth in our team.

"It all seems very promising for us."

Benzema was part of a Lyon side that was dumped out of the Champions League at the hands of Manchester United this week.

The striker scored in the 1-1 draw in the first leg a fortnight ago, but Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in the return game on Tuesday earned United a 2-1 aggregate success.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson spoke of his admiration of the youngster in the build-up to the tie, something Aulas was disappointed to hear about.

"In the media, I heard him (Ferguson) declare his interest in Benzema between the two games," he added in French newspaper L'Est Republicain. "That is a regrettable thing to do.",16368,1778_3249320,00.html
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