Emirates Stadium boss looks to bring top notch midfielder to North London.
Arsenal appear to be in pole position with regards to a move for France and Lyon’s attacking midfielder Yoann Gourcuff after it emerged that the French Ligue 1 side are prepared to sell the 25 year old in order to pay off debt owed to the bank.
The French club are believed to have been in financial difficulty since 2008 but will now face the arduous task of having to sell some of their stars to make the funds up or else face litigation. A list is rumoured to be available stating which players are available and for which price and Gourcuff is one player that will be available at a cut price should Arsenal press with any further interest.
The urgency in Lyon’s debt crisis could see Arsenal snap the former AC Milan midfielder for around £6m-£8m with the French side not in a strong position to negotiate much more for fear of having to keep their assets longer than February of 2012.
There is growing speculation that Lyon simply must sell a star or two to balance the books and Arsene Wenger has long since been an admirer of playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who’s career has stagnated a little at the Stade Gerland.
The 25 year old attacking midfielder was considered one of the hottest prospects in Europe when he left France for AC Milan back in 2006 but the French international suffered with injury and inconsistent form at the San Siro and it wasn’t until Laurent Blanc elected to bring the former Rennes man to Bordeaux on a loan deal that his career began to get back on track.
He helped Les Girondins to a Ligue 1 title and signed a permanent deal to stay at the Stade Chaban Delmas but when Blanc left to take the French national team post Gourcuff left for Lyon and has had an up and down time of it over the past 18 months.
In many ways Gourcuff could be considered a long term replacement for Cesc Fabregas and is in many ways a far more similar player than Mikel Arteta and has a few years on the former Everton man to boot.
If Wenger can secure the PEF Ploufragan graduate for as little as £8m then that would truly be a bargain and whilst the player would be ineligible for Champions League activity the price is such that the Gunners boss would surely not think twice about nabbing Gourcuff and bringing him to the Emirates Stadium.