Lyon manager Remi Garde is urging Clement Grenier to remain at the club after Arsene Wenger revealed his interest in bringing the midfielder to Arsenal. The 22-year-old France international has scored seven goals and provided six assists in Ligue 1 this season and scored a fine free-kick against Rennes on Sunday, when Arsenal scouts are said to have been present.
And Wenger has confirmed that he is player that the Gunners are tracking. "We are following him, I like the intelligence of his play," Wenger told French television program Telefoot. "He has interesting qualities, if anyone, he reminds me of [Samir] Nasri."
However, former Arsenal midfielder Garde believes that Grenier’s progress is currently best served by remaining at Lyon, which has secured a place in the Champions League qualifiers for next season.
"I already did all I could so that he didn't join Nice last summer," Garde said, according to ESPN. "I know the talent and ambition of Clement. He's a player who can still improve. I've told him that, at Lyon, there's everything for him to be able to continue his progress, and then go to a club where he'll establish himself as soon as he arrives. I think he's still got a little way to go at Lyon."
To many, the potential signing of another creative and forward-thinking midfielder would not fulfill Arsenal’s key needs in the transfer market this summer. The signing of a striker would appear to be more of a priority. The Daily Mail has again claimed that Fiorentina’s Steven Jovetic is Wenger’s leading target, but a deal appears in increasing jeopardy.
After the Montenegrin forward’s agent last week revealed that the player would prefer to remain in Italy and Fiorentina refused to rule out selling the player to Serie A rivals Juventus, a move to Turin now looks on the cards. A move to Arsenal appears even further away, with the Mail reporting that the Gunners are unwilling to meet Fiorentina’s £25 million asking price.
According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal are also considering Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. While the England international’s future at Old Trafford remains uncertain after asking to leave the club in recent weeks, a move to the Emirates would be a major surprise. While Rooney’s transfer fee could be affordable, his weekly wage of close to £300,000 is three times as much as the current highest earner at Arsenal.
Yet the Mirror claims that Arsenal are prepared to push their wage structure in excess of £150,000 a week this summer. While Rooney is unlikely to have his current wages matched in a new Manchester United contract, suitors like Paris Saint-Germain have the ability to at least keep the 27-year-old on the same hefty salary.
Signing a goalkeeper is thought to be another key part of Wenger’s summer plans. The Daily Mirror reported over the weekend that Arsenal are primed to sign Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet in a deal worth around £10 million. But the 24-year-old Belgian’s manager Paulo di Canio is unsurprisingly keen to hang onto the club’s most consistent performer during the past season.
“I want to build something here at Sunderland and take the club forward -- that is my mission,” he said, according to the Hartlepool Mail. “So the last thing I want to do is to let any of our quality players leave. Simon is a top class goalkeeper. He’s very important to us.”