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Former Arsenal, Man City striker Adebayor blames journalist for drinking, smoking claims

Emmanuel Adebayor has played down suggestions he was drinking and smoking during a meeting with Olympique Lyon.

The Togolese striker recently met with Lyon manager Bruno Genesio who claimed that he had turned up smoking a cigarette and ordered a shot of whiskey to haven his coffee.

Gensio reportedly said: "We had a place in our squad for Manu, so I arranged to meet him for a coffee in Lyon.

"But, to my surprise, when he arrived he asked for a shot of whisky in his coffee. He also had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth."

However, the former Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace striker has rubbished the reports by suggesting that a journalist may have been having some fun at his expense.

In a statement, Adebayor said: "Usually I do not comment on any transfer negotiations or speculation but this time certain matters need to be cleared up.

"Lyon wanted to sign me and offered to pay for a private jet from Togo to bring me to Lyon in order for me to sign ahead of their game against Marseille. The contract was all agreed and I was merely flying in to complete a medical and sign the paperwork.

"Unfortunately, I could not get there in time to be registered for their game and they signed another young striker instead. They still asked if I could come and speak to the manager and director of football in order to establish if it would be possible to sign us both.

"We all had a perfectly amicable meeting in Lyon but the coach felt it was not fair on the young player's development to sign us both and I felt I would not get the requisite game time I needed to make this opportunity worthwhile.

"For the avoidance of doubt I only drank water at this meeting and did not ask for whisky or have a cigarette.

"This was a report that came out of a French newspaper and is not only ludicrous and ridiculous but was meant as a joke by the journalist. The statements have been retracted and the journalist is currently drafting an apology.

"Unfortunately the press in other countries couldn't see that the journalist was being highly sarcastic and rewrote the story."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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