In the past few weeks, Arsenal have been consistently linked with a move for Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier. As of last night, my understanding is that all this smoke has a very real fire at its heart.
Arsenal’s interest is genuine. They have already held discussions with the player’s agent, and Grenier knows what he woud stand to earn at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal are not the only Premier League club looking to Grenier to provide their midfield with an injection of creativity. A delegation from Liverpool travelled to France to speak with the player’s representatives last week. However, their offer fell significantly short of Arsenal’s proposed salary.
As yet there is no deal in place between Arsenal and Lyon. Given Grenier’s delicate contractual situation – he has just one year left on his deal – I suspect Arsenal would be looking to secure a bargain. Given our reticence to push the boat out when it comes to transfer fees, it may be that the France midfielder is forced to see out his current deal before moving on a bumper Bosman salary next summer. However, given that Arsene Wenger is already in direct contact with Lyon, it’s clear Arsenal would prefer to secure his signature now.
Grenier, a central playmaker, is not a player we urgently need. However, he would add depth and quality in an area of the park where we are forced to rely on injury-prone players like Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere.
On the subject of Lyon, many of you have emailed me to ask about our interest in Grenier’s side-kick, the more defensively-minded Maxime Gonalons. The honest truth is that I haven’t heard a peep about that deal since I told you that initial discussions had taken place with his representatives in the spring. Perhaps the end of season form of Aaron Ramsey put an end to those particular negotiations.
Although we may not yet be making headlines in the media, it’s comforting to know that Dick Law & Co are beavering away behind the scenes. Hopefully their labours come to fruition soon.
Further reading: Clement Grenier – Scouting Report