Aug 132013

Every single summer Arsenal are linked with Yoann Gourcuff and for little known reason too. I can only assume that the media links him with Arsenal because Wenger once held an interest in him when he was beginning to show real talent in his homeland of France when he was just 22, which was 5 years ago.

Now 27, and the links are persisting but Arsenal have never seemed to actually hold any formal talks, just the usual ‘interest’. But now could some light finally be shed on this rumour that’s been on the merry-go-round for years, because Gourcuff’s club president, Jean-Michel Aulas, has come out and said that the player would be willing to take a pay cut to join the Gunner’s in North London.

He told L’Equipe, “All that I know, if I understood correctly, is that he was ready to lower his salary to go to Arsenal, but that’s not the same thing. I spoke to his lawyer two weeks ago and he asked for the power of attorney to negotiate a transfer. I said no, but I would be keen to offer a non-exclusive power of attorney to see what happens.”

Now unless Arsenal have made contact this summer this is a reasonably strange comment to make. Is the player trying to push through a move to Arsenal or is the Lyon president trying to gain interest in a big money move? Arsenal are known to have made contact with the Ligue 1 side at least twice this summer, with enquiries over Grenier and Gonalons, but no such thing has been mentioned about Gourcuff until now.

The French midfielder wouldn’t command too much of a fee, with the valuation expected at around £8 million, half the price Lyon paid for the player three years ago from Bordeaux. Would he be worth a punt if there is some genuine interest? Although times are desperate, I’d say no because quite simply he would be nothing more than a bench player and if we make any more additions maybe nothing more than a squad rotation player. We may be desperate to fill positions but I can guarantee that Gourcuff isn’t someone we should be looking at this summer.

Jul 202013

Lyon boss Remi Garde has denied that the French club are interested in signing the Arsenal forward Gervinho, after speculation arose that the Ivorian could soon return back to France.

Before signing for Arsenal, Gervinho played for Lille in Ligue 1, but now after two torrid years in England which has seen the 26 year old become one of the most frustrating players Arsenal fans have ever seen, there were some suggestions that he could soon be back in France, with Lyon and Marseille interested in him.

However Garde denied the link and said; “This has only come from the press. I’ve heard that Lyon is interested in Gervinho, but Gervinho is a striker, and we have young and very good strikers already at the club.”

It seems as if there is no genuine interest from Lyon, which is a shame because any deal could of perhaps included Arsenal target Clement Grenier, however it seems not to be and in fact the player we were linked with was Yoann Gorcuff, who if I remember rightly is probably the player Arsenal have been linked with the most for the last four seasons at least.

Other interest also reportedly comes from Seria A side Roma, where the Ivorian’s former manager at Lille now coaches however there has been no publicised progress on any deal regarding those two parties, after it was speculated that the real reason Gervinho didn’t travel on the pre-season tour of Asia was because he was close to securing a move away from the gunners.

It’s also understood that Arsenal want a reported £8.6 million or 10 million Euros for Gervinho if he leaves this summer and although that may seem to be a little high based upon his performances over the last two years, I think it’s a fair price for a fairly average player in today’s footballing financial market.

Jul 122013

Arsenal have been targeting French midfielder Clement Grenier as one of their main midfield targets this summer and that man has officially signed a new contract with the French giants Olympique Lyonnais.

This might come as a surprise to many people as Grenier seemed a classic Wenger signing. He was relatively cheap (below £10 million), he’s French, he’s a young prospect, He plays in Ligue 1 and so on. However, surprisingly, either Wenger opted out of signing the Frenchman or Lyon managed to convince Grenier to stay.

The latter seems unlikely to me as no one in their right mind would turn down Arsenal if they played for a team like Lyon. Especially considering how the midfield man made sure his potential move to Arsenal was known to the media.

What’s more likely is Wenger opted out and therefore left it to Lyon to give Grenier a new bumper contract. Why would Wenger not want to buy him? Could it be possible that we have a bigger target?

Grenier would’ve in my opinion played as an attacking midfielder. He would’ve probably started with Wilshere still needing another season before we see him hit the levels of the best young midfielders in Europe.

So with that in mind, has Arsene found a better attacking midfielder than Grenier? Could it be Cesc? Maybe. We all know that Twitter is buzzing with the news that Cesc may be on his way back. It would make sense that we gave up on Grenier to focus on signing Cesc.

Jul 022012

If rumours are to be believed Arsenal are now close to submit a £12 million bid for Olympique Lyon’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, as the 25-year-old is edging closer to an exit from the French Ligue 1.

Lloris, who was probably the best goalkeeper at this summer’s EURO tournament and surely the best French player of the summer, has expressed his desire to move on to a bigger European club after spending the last 7 years in the top French league. Hugo became a French international in 2008 after joining Lyon, and kept hold of the spot ever since, letting it go only seldom to the likes of Mandanda.

Arsene Wenger is looking for a worthy goalkeeper to come in for Lukas Fabianski who has decided to leave the Premiership side after being not much more than a substitute for his Polish conational Szczesny for the whole length of the last season.

Lloris wouldn’t only be a replacement for Fabianski, but he would also be serious competition for Szczesny who would have to up his game in order to keep hold of the first team place. This kind of competitiveness could only bring good things for Arsenal who have been known for having issues with the goalkeepers ever since Lehmann decided to retire (the first time).

Should Wenger go for him?

Jan 202012

Lyon’s attacking midfielder Yoann Gourcuff won’t be moving away from the club in spite of rumours coming in which are linking the midfielder with a possible move to London club Arsenal.

The player’s agent dismissed the possibility of Gourcuff leaving the French club until after this year’s EURO, also stating that the midfielder is feeling good at Lyon.

“We’ve spoken with Gourcuff and he has no reason to leave Lyon,” said Jean-Pierre Bernes.

“It would be completely absurd. I’m willing to take this step but I have to be thoroughly convinced of his interest. And that’s not the case.”

“He’s at a good club,” added Bernes. “He’s been injured, he needs time.

“I can’t see how this player could fail to impose himself at Lyon. I don’t see the point in finding a new club three or four months before Euro 2012. He will play at Lyon.”

Arsene Wenger is still looking for a midfielder, and at the moment he already missed out on Borussia Monchengladbach’s Reus who will be joining Dortmund in the summer , and he’s very unlikely to miss out on Dortmund’s midfielder Mario Gotze who probably won’t leave the club yet.

Jan 142012

Lyon’s chief Jean-Michel Aulas admitted that the sale of French full-back Aly Cissokho is a very likely outcome in January with Premiership clubs Newcastle and Arsenal trailing the 24-year-old full-back who has stated his interest in playing in the Premiership.

“Possible winter departures? That doesn’t mean we don’t have any more means, but we want to keep the rules we set, which is to not increase deficit,” Aulas told L’Equipe.

“The transfer of Aly Cissokho? I am rather in favour of it.

“We could hire a centre defender, young, not expansive and versatile, but none of our current centre defenders will be free agents next June, and maybe in February they will all be back.

“We could hire a defensive midfielder as Maxime Gonalons is deputising as centre defender. We could also not do anything.”

Arsenal are in a big need of a full-back having huge problems with full-backs after all 4 available players got injured during the first half of the season. The only problem is that Wenger wants to snatch a player on loan and Lyon are looking to cash in for the 24-year-old and keep their finances at a high. Do you think Cissokho would be a good transfer for Arsenal?

Jan 102012

The Lyon midfielder Yoann Gourcuff has been closely linked with a loan move to Arsenal, despite Arsene Wenger stating that the Gunners midfield is “too crowded to bring in another one in January.

But today the Lyon Chief, Jean-Michel Aulas, has made it clear that the French playmaker won’t be going anywhere until after the Euro2012 tournament this summer.

Aulas said: “The journalists writing that Gourcuff is on his way out are simply getting it wrong,”

“He will be staying. I brought him here because I thought that with him in our ranks, we would have a side with added value, especially in the Champions League.”

“He will be staying here, because with the Euros just around the corner, he’ll have the stability to turn in an excellent season and get back on track,” he said.

“Economically, it would be a mistake to let him go at a time when he can play a part in France’s tilt at the Euros, get back into peak physical form and show everyone what he is capable of.”

Although there is no space for Gourcuff in the Arsenal midfield right now, there are certain to be a few vacancies in the summer, with old-timers Arshavin, Rosicky and Benayoun expected to be departing at the end of the season.

Dec 122011

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger replied to the rumours which were linking the Gunners with a possible move for Lyon’s centre midfielder Yoann Gourcuff, saying that they’re not interested in him yet.

“He is a player I like a lot and I believe people have been very critical towards him in France.

Gourcuff also offered a statement in which he basically said he’s not willing to go at the moment.

“I am a Lyon player,” he told Canal Football Club.

“My objective is to achieve a very good second part of the season with Lyon which could allow me to play at Euro 2012.”

It’s a shame because he would have been a great asset for the club especially given the current situation at the club with Wilshere injured. What do you think?

Dec 052011

With the African Nations Cup in mind Arsene Wenger has revived interest in Olympique Lyon’s Brazilian winger Michael Bastos according to French press.

Arsenal will have to let Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh go to the African Nations Cup, but these are not all of Wenger’s problems. Chamakh might go for good with offers from PSG, Bordeaux and Sevilla, while Russian winger Andrey Arshavin has long been linked with a move back home to Russia.

The winger is very frustrated by the situation at the club and by the fact that he has been sidelined in favour of Gervinho, so Wenger could see himself without 3 strikers shortly after the January transfer market opening.

Bastos has continued to prove his spectacular skills with 5 goals in 13 games this season but with 5 assists as well. He would be a serious contender for a first team spot even with the squad Wenger has at the moment, so such an acquisition would be fortunate.