Garde hopes Grenier stays at Lyon
Lyon coach Remi Garde is hoping to convince Arsenal target Clement Grenier to shun a summer move and "continue his progress" at the club and also believes Lisandro Lopez could yet stay put.
Garde, who ended his playing career with the Gunners in 1999, is now determined to disappoint his former side after Arsene Wenger expressed his interest in Grenier.
Having contributed a handy seven goals and five assists to OL's third-placed finish and with just a year left on his contract at the Stade de Gerland, the French Under-21 midfielder will likely receive a good deal of attention throughout the summer and has made no secret of his lofty career ambitions.
However, after nurturing the 22-year-old's talent in his role at the head of Lyon's youth academy, Garde told RMC his protege, who was on Monday called up as cover for Samir Nasri for the French senior team's summer tour to South America, should wait a little longer before heading off on the path he has planned for himself.
"I already did all I could so that he didn't join Nice last summer," Garde said, referring to a switch the club - but not the player - hoped to make for economic reasons. "I know the talent and ambition of Clement.
“He's a player who can still improve. I've told him that, at Lyon, there's everything for him to be able to continue his progress, and then go to a club where he'll establish himself as soon as he arrives. I think he's still got a little way to go at Lyon."
It also seems Lisandro, who appeared to have bid a tearful final farewell to Lyon fans when he was substituted during Sunday's 2-0 win over Rennes, may not leave the club this summer after all.
French media have reported the Argentina international, 30, is keen to return to his native country after eight years in Europe with Porto and OL. Linked to Juventus last January, another Serie A club, Fiorentina, has also been mentioned as a potential European port of call should Lyon, who require some €25 million to balance their books according to L'Equipe, decide to cash in on a player who has a year remaining on his contract.
Though Lisandro has frequently and publicly bemoaned his lack of opportunities to feature in his preferred centre-forward role, Garde would be happy to keep his former captain in the squad.
"He's a very important player for OL. I'm not looking to push him out," Garde told RMC. "He could leave or he could prolong his adventure with Lyon. Lisandro isn't a player you want to get rid of."