The 23-year-old joined City in 2013 and spent a year with the club’s academy. Since then, he spent four seasons on loan as Pep Guardiola brought into a succession of central defenders.
After a promising loan spell at Celtic, talk around the Belgian centred on a permanent move away from the Etihad with the Glaswegians primed for his signature. City, however, were reluctant to sell, instead sending the youngster to Sunderland and most recently, Galatasaray.
Denayer attracted unwanted attention last year for an off-the-field incident which raised questions over his stay in Manchester. Those predictions, premature at the time, are coming true.
Lyon are delighted with their acquisition. “Jason is a player we have been following for three seasons now,” Florian Maurice, the club’s head of recruitment said.
“It has all the characteristics sought by Bruno [Génésio, Lyon head coach]: versatility because he is able to play all the positions of the defence, intelligence of play, placement, speed and power in the duels.”
The Belgian has 121 first-team appearances under his belt, but not one as a Manchester City player in a competitive match. That zero is set to remain in his record.