Reports have suggested that Loic Perrin is a target for Arsenal in this transfer window, but despite admitting interest from the London club, it seems that it was nothing more than an enquiry.
Perrin has spent his whole career at Saint-Etienne, it’s the only club he has ever known and his representative doesn't seem to expect him to move on soon.
The player's agent David Venditelli spoke to Eurosport France on Monday and denied the talks had gone any further than an initial request for information.
"Today, there is nothing. The situation is simple: we were asked for information and it stopped there, I do not know why there is all this speculation," he said.
The president of Saint-Etienne, Bernard Caiazzo, poured further cold water on the move.
"I know for a fact, Arsenal are not even certain to recruit a defender this winter. The Gunners listed four, five defenders. Between this and the transfer of Loic Perrin, there is a huge gap," he stated.
With his contract set to expire in 2018, it is not going to be a cheap transfer if Arsenal want to bring Perrin to London at this stage.
Les Verts would value him at around £6-7 million and to convince them to sell, Arsene Wenger may have to go higher, which would make the 29-year-old too expensive to be a valuable signing.
Perrin is Saint-Etienne’s captain, his performances beside Mustapha Bayal Sall are the main reason the club have not been affected by the loss of Kurt Zouma last summer. The club from the Rhone Valley have the best defensive record in France going into the second half of the season, so it is clear to see why Perrin has attracted Wenger’s attention.
In the past he has played in the centre of midfield, and although it was a number of seasons ago, he has the class on the ball and the ability to read the game that could see him reprise that role if needed. However, if you are paying £9 million for a defender, you would want him to take over in the centre of defence immediately.
With his experience and quality, there is little doubt Perrin would be good enough to become a starter for Arsenal, it’s just unlikely that the Gunners would want to pay that price, or that Perrin would want to move to be a substitute.