Newly-published comments from Lyon manager Hubert Fournier appear to suggest that while the club could sell Clement Grenier, it may not be to Newcastle.
Newcastle United’s hopes of signing long-time target Clement Grenier from Lyon appear to have been dashed after the Ligue 1 side’s manager Hubert Fournier admitted the midfielder would only be sold to a big club for a big transfer fee.
The Toon have been linked with a move for Grenier for much of the past year, with the Magpies keen to continue their excellent record of attracting young French talent to the north east.
But Newcastle were not the only Premier League club to be linked with a move for Grenier, who also reportedly caught the eye of Arsene Wenger following a series of all-action displays for Lyon in Ligue 1 as well as with France at both youth and senior level.
Arsenal remained somewhat more tight-lipped in their interest though, in a move that had many thinking Newcastle was the 23-year-old’s most likely destination this summer.
Lyon, meanwhile, had hoped to keep hold of Grenier ahead of a campaign in which new manager Fournier is hoping to secure a top three finish and a return to the Champions League.
The former Reims boss has already held showdown talks with a number of players linked with moves away, a situation that has already seen captain Maxime Gonalons opt to remain at Stade de Gerland rather than move to Napoli.
But while uncertainty still surrounds Alexandre Lacazette’s plans, it would appear that Grenier is heading for the Lyon exit – provided the right offer is made.
Fournier confirmed as much in an official statement published on the French club’s website:
“There will be one or two players who will leave for financial imperatives. [We] Could let go Clément Grenier if a big club is approaching. There must have big offers.”
With Grenier seemingly echoing this sentiment in recent days, the danger is that Newcastle may not be deemed the ‘big’ club he desires and more importantly may be unable to meet their valuation of the player.
That could clear the way for Arsenal to make an approach, but it remains questionable as to whether the Gunners would be keen on a move, with their interest seemingly cooling in recent weeks.
Grenier could face a difficult choice: stay and risk never getting a Premier League move or go to Newcastle United.
The Toon may not necessarily need the midfielder either, with a deal for Remy Cabella close. It’s shaping up to be an interesting summer on Tyneside and London.