Remember how the head of Olympique Lyonnais has been obsessively chasing Alex Morgan on Twitter in hopes she will sign with the French club? Well, it looks like his overtures may actually be working.
Jean-Michel Aulas, the club’s president and part owner, has told the French soccer magazine L’Equipe that Lyon is working on signing Morgan.
"She’s an exceptional player. It was very difficult to bring her before, because the relationship with the U.S team was complicated, but things are changing," he said on Thursday. "We try."
He is probably referring to the collective bargaining agreement that required U.S. women’s national team players to compete in the National Women’s Soccer League as part of their contracts. Documents released in legal filings show that USWNT players who wanted to play overseas had one of two options: 1) Play in abroad in 2014 and then play in the NWSL for 2015 and 2016, or 2) Play in the NWSL in 2013 and 2014, and then play in abroad in 2015 and/or 2016.
Morgan has played in the NWSL since its inception in 2013 and she would be eligible to go overseas under the CBA. But the caveat is that the USWNT’s current CBA is set to expire at the end of the year with negotiations ongoing for a new one. That could change the eligibility for USWNT players looking for opportunities outside NWSL.
Aulas, for his part, is optimistic about signing Morgan, who remains one of the top strikers for the USWNT and one of the team’s most marketable players.
"Contact has been established," he said on Wednesday. "There is work with her agent, herself and other players, and I hope we’ll achieve our goals. Next year, we’ll have an American player at OL."
If he is in direct contact with her or her agent, that is certainly a step up from his tweets where he has tried repeatedly to convince Morgan to join Lyon while she never responded. But he may just still be pursuing something despite her lack of interest for all we know. You can see a full rundown of their one-sided Twitter history here.
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