Monday, 24 June 2013

Gunners’ pursuit of Gonalons hits brick wall

Arsenal’s pursuit of Maxime Gonalons hit a dead-end after the defensive midfielder’s club Lyon confirmed on their official website that the player will not be sold this summer, despite reports suggesting otherwise. Arsenal and Napoli have been linked with the 24-year old but Lyon refuted all rumours after reports in the media surfaced that the French outfit have set the midfielder’s transfer fee
at €12million.
The Gunners have been tracking the French international after Abou Diaby was ruled out for up to 9 months in March with an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Arsene Wenger is searching for defensive options in midfield since he sold Alex Song to Barcelona last summer but has failed to find a suitable replacement.
Gonalons made his professional debut with Lyon in 2009 after almost a decade in the youth system and has established himself as a key member of the club’s midfield, playing 35 of the 38 league games last season.
The statement on Lyon’s official website read, “Olympique Lyonnais were very surprised to read in L’Equipe this morning that we would set a transfer figure for Maxime Gonalons and that it would be more than €12 million. The club have no intention of parting with our captain and this is a matter of clear strategy, namely the further development of our club around our best young players from the academy of which Maxime Gonalons is one of the best examples. The club therefore deny any contact and any negotiations with Napoli and regret any suggestion otherwise, as suggested in this newspaper.”

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