Wenger confirms interest in Grenier
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal are interested in signing Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier.
Frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities, the France Under-21 international midfielder would have joined Nice last summer but for an injury to Yoann Gourcuff, paving the way for him to feature in the starting XI.
Now firmly established in coach Remi Garde's plans, Grenier has been watched by a number of clubs, with Arsenal's French scout, Gilles Grimandi, among those present for Lyon’s 2-0 win over Rennes on Sunday.
The former Monaco and Gunners midfielder could not have helped but been impressed by the youngster, who smashed in a long-range free-kick for the second successive match, and is likely to have no shortage of summer suitors with just a year left on his contract.
And Wenger has now entered his side into the race for the player's signature, as he looks to spend some of his reported £70 million transfer budget this summer and help Arsenal mount a title challenge next season.
“We are following him, I like the intelligence of his play," Wenger told Telefoot. "He has interesting qualities, if anyone, he reminds me of [Samir] Nasri.”
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, however, insists he is keen to keep hold of the club’s youth academy product.
"I hope he's going to soon find a solution with the club and he'll continue to grow here, because the environment is favourable for that. He told me his priority is to remain with the club if we qualified for the Champions League. We'll see what we can do," Aulas said, setting a €37 million price tag on Grenier's head, but also suggesting that the club's financial difficulties would not prove to be an obstacle in discussions.
He said: "If we have to make an effort and go above the annual revenue of €1 million that will be taxed [at 75% according to a government proposal], we'll make the players who have come through our youth academy a priority."