Garde to leave Lyon at season's end

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.