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Former Arsenal midfielder issues 'hands off' warning to Wenger over duo

One of Arsene Wenger's early signings for Arsenal is looking to block any transfer bids on Lyon.

Lyon is looking increasingly like a club Arsenal will seek to do business with this summer, if reports are to be believed.

The French side are said to be keen on Gunners attacker Gervinho, while Arsenal are interested in midfield duo Clement Grenier and Maxime Gonalons.

Wenger admitted his interest in the former at the weekend, comparing him in style to a young Samir Nasri, with just one year left on his contract at the club the attacker certainly appears 'up for grabs.'

Yet this is not what Lyon's hierarchy appear to think, with the club president ambitiously stating on Sunday that it would cost Arsenal a similar amount to Mario Gotze's €37 million transfer fee to prise him away.

And now a former signing of Arsene Wenger, Remi Garde, has made his opposition to losing either player very clear.

Garde is a coach at Lyon, having been so since 2011 and has no intention of helping out his former club.

He said: "There are rumors about some players ready to leave the club, but there is nothing true.

"(In) recent years we have won the French Cup and came third in the league. The transfer of Gonalons Grenier would hurt us a lot.

"They are part of our project and I want to build the team around them. If Grenier has reached such a level (it) is because he has worked really hard."

However if anybody knows just how futile a amanger's words can be, then it is his former coach Arsene Wenger.

In recent years Wenger has issued his own firm denials regarding Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie, only to see the rug pulled from under his feet as they were sold anyway.

Garde's stance is admirable, but with money at his disposal and Lyon in a weak position regarding Grenier's contract, Arsenal should not be deterred from pursuing the pair.

Would you be happy if Arsenal bought Grenier and Gonalons?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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