All of the latest press reports have been pointing towards a swift conclusion to the Arsenal-Grenier story with the midfielder expected to complete the transfer and link up with French manager Arsene Wenger.
However, the potential move has been dealt a big blow as Lyon’s president Jean-Michel Aulas has revealed that the playmaker has told the French club he’s more than happy to stay.
His future seemed to depend on Lyon’s involvement in European football ahead of next season, which has now been secured and the president says he expects the player to honour his word.
“I hope Grenier will quickly find a solution with the club and he will continue to grow here – he told me that his priority is to stay at the club,” Aulas told France Football.
Arsenal will have to move on and think outside the box in terms of their next attacking target if the intentions of Grenier through these quotes are true.
There is also the question of price because Lyon have moved very quickly to protect themselves by putting a £30 million target on Grenier’s head which makes him a rather expensive gamble for any side.
One of the reasons Wenger has had such longevity at Arsenal is his ability to build teams with a core of young players and Grenier, at 22-years-old, could go straight into the spine of the current Arsenal team.
The worry here for Gunners fans is the point that Wenger has never shown eagerness in his career to go out and spend big money on young players.
The fee for Grenier is something which would take Wenger’s transfer policy with the club onto new grounds and if the budget is between £60-70 million for the summer, Wenger may not be willing to blow almost half of that on a single player.
If Aulas is telling the truth with his comments then it could be pointless for Arsenal to try and buy someone like Grenier.
It’s very difficult to force someone away from a club if they don’t want to leave, which runs the risk of alienating the target before he’s even pulled on the shirt of the side he is joining.
Max Gonalons, also of Lyon, seems like a much more realistic target for the club although he plays in a different position.
Gonalons is a more defensively minded player but he would be a much cheaper buy for Arsenal and he could compliment the attacking players Arsenal already own very well.
Do you see any deal for Grenier happening?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald