Garde to leave Lyon at season's end
© AFP

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.

"The reasons are personal and family. I feel the need to take a break," said the Frenchman.

Lyon currently sit fifth in French 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.