'Could be' Arsenal transfer target won't be joining after signing two-year extension

Clement Grenier has agreed to extend his spell at Lyon rather then make the move elsewhere this summer. Despite suggesting keenness in June.

All summer Arsenal have been linked with the signature of Lyon youngster Clement Grenier and this week his name has popped up once again with conflicting reports over where he saw his long term future.

Grenier has been compared to Samir Nasri in playing style and made his real breakthrough last season; featuring in 28 games and finally adding goals to his performances netting seven times with nine assists also to his name.

Such was the impressive nature of his 2012-13 campaign he earned himself a call-up to the French national team this year and all of this good form has attracted major attention; with one team above all perennially linked with the 22-year-old.

Arsenal were the team in question and there was no wonder; as Grenier is exactly the type of player that Arsene Wenger would want to bring into his team.

Arsenal even went as far as actually making a bid for the player at the start of this month; something which flattered Grenier.

And there were also many reasons why this deal gathered so much credence.

Firstly there is the slight ‘fire-sale’ mentality going on at Lyon as they raise funds to pay for their protracted new stadium build.

Then there was the fact Grenier only had a contract with Lyon until the summer of 2014.

Essentially they risked losing him for nothing if they didn’t sell him now.

And Grenier also didn’t help with comments like this in June:

“I have more or less made a decision about which club I want to join. I have made the choice for sporting reasons above all. Arsenal? It could well be them. There would be competition for places, but you get that at all big clubs and it does not stop me making my decision. I am still young, but I have always set myself targets and I do everything possible to exceed them.”

Now it seems these comments must have been misinterpreted; after Grenier signed a two-year extension at the Stade Gerland keeping him with the club until 2016.

"I'm still on a learning curve. I posted six good months late in 2012/13, but I want to carry on for at least one more season at OL because I have a job to finish."

For Arsenal it is more bad news in the transfer market as their deals for Gonzalo Higuain and Maraoune Fellaini have recently gone cold; amid fears that it could be same old same old for the club despite their warchest this summer.

But look on the bright side.

At least this deal is now definitely a no-go and you no longer have to wonder if it is on, or off, or off, or on anymore.

Well … for this summer at least.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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