Garde to leave Lyon

AFP| Last Updated: May 13, 2014, 16:21 PM IST

Lyon: Remi Garde has opted not to extend his contract with Lyon and is to leave the French club after three years as coach.

The 48-year-old took over after the sacking of Claude Puel in 2011, initially on a one-year deal, before signing a two-year contract in 2012 that ends on June 30.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has openly said he wanted Garde to stay, especially with the club`s new 58,000-seater Grande Stade set to be opened at the end of 2015.

But Garde, a former Lyon, Strasbourg and Arsenal player capped six times by France, opted not to remain.

"I`ve decided not to reply favourably to the numerous and repeated proposals of my president, of (adviser) Bernard (Lacombe) and of the club to lead the professional team next season," Garde said.

"The reasons are completely personal and family-related. I feel the need in my life to breathe a little, to take a break."

Lyon currently sit fifth in Ligue 1, one point ahead of Marseille, and play Nice on Saturday in a crunch match that could see them qualify for European football for a French record 18th time.