Reports from The Express reveal that Lyon player Maxime Gonalons is available to buy, putting Arsenal on alert. Talking to the press the club president Jean-Michael Aulas said:
“The heart of Maxime beats for Lyon. He has attracted the interest of several clubs and is among the most popular players. I have always said he can leave the club at the end of the season. His sale could help us in economic terms.”
Gonalons has long been linked to Arsenal and Lyon finished outside of the Champions League places this year meaning that their finances will take a hit; so selling the 25-year-old defensive midfielder would help them to recuperate some of their losses.
Gonalons has spent most of his youth and his entire senior career at Les Gones amassing 140 league appearances. Despite this long-standing affiliation with the club, it seems likely that he may favour a move. With the French outfit failing to compete for the league title and not qualifying for European football, it may be difficult to remain at the club. Especially when he has been left out of the French squad for the World Cup.
A move to The Premier League and a high profile club like Arsenal would certainly help boost his profile and aid his chances of getting a call-up to France squad in the future.
The highly rated Frenchman was reportedly a key transfer target for Arsenal last year but they were left disappointed last season when he reiterated his desire to remain at Lyon. Arsene Wenger has scouted Gonalons significantly over the past few years and will be ready to pounce now that he is available.
Arsenal are in need of a specialist defensive midfielder, it being one of the positions highlighted by fans and pundits alike as a perceived weakness.
Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini have primarily filled in at this role, but Arteta is more suited to attacking football while Flamini’s number of appearances tailed off towards the end of the season. Gonalons would provide more dedicated cover for the back four, strengthening Arsenal’s defence.
By Nathan Gibson