£15m Arsenal target's agent confirms talks... with rivals

Olympique Lyonnais

Arsenal target Maxime Gonalons is edging towards a switch to Napoli.

Arsenal were strongly linked with Maxime Gonalons early in the summer, with the defensive midfielder claimed by The Mirror to be a priority for the club. The Sun even claimed Arsene Wenger had sent scouts to check the Lyon man out.

He ended up staying at Lyon, and Arsenal signed Mathieu Flamini instead, but many still consider they need a specialist defensive midfielder.

If they want to renew interest in Gonalons, they will have to get their skates on, because they are being left fast behind by Champions League foes Napoli.

The Italian side lie in Arsenal's path in the competition, with the Gunners needing to avoid losing by three goals when they face off in a fortnight, or hope winless Marseille can pull off a shock against Dortmund.

The agent of Gonalons, Frederic Guerra, has confirmed he is in talks with Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon about the player.

He told Channel Napoli: "I'm talking to Bigon and with Napoli. Let's see what happens later. Maxime is focused to do well with Lyon, this is fact. It's normal that is good to know that big European clubs to take an interest in him."

The plan for Gonalons has always been to stay the season at Lyon, but Rafa Benitez is determined to continue overhauling the Napoli squad he has inherited, seeing the worst of them in losses to Juventus, Dortmund and Arsenal - all by two goals or more, and a quality defensive midfielder is arguably more desperate for them than for the Gunners.

If Arsenal do not move for him in January, they may find by next summer he is gone.

image: © julien haler

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