If the rumors are to be believed, English football club Arsenal are leading the race to sign Olympique Lyonnais' talented French midfielder Yoann Gourcuff at a cut-price, after reports emerged that the Ligue 1 side could be forced to make a deal in order to balance its books and pay off outstanding debts. Lyon is believed to be in financial difficulties; indeed, they have been in trouble since 2008, and now face the unpleasant task of selling big-name players in order to raise funds and, crucially, avoid litigation.

Gourcuff is one of those players who may be sacrificed at the Stade de Gerland.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger may consider the 25-year-old as a long term replacement for Spaniard Cesc Fabregas, who left the club last summer. In addition, he must also be hoping that Gourcuff and Spaniard Mikael Arteta (whom the Gunners signed at the start of the current season), can create a successful midfield partnership. In either case, Wenger will know that acquiring such a talent for as little as £8 million will be a bargain and although the Frenchman will be ineligible to play in the Champions League, the offer may be too hot to resist.

Gourcuff has previously been linked with Arsenal on a number of occasions, with Wenger praising the player on a number of occasions. The Gunners will look to make use of Lyon's condition and force a deal for between £6 million and £8 million, given that the latter cannot afford to not sell.

Complications, however, could arise in the form of Dutch side Ajax and Spanish outfit Valencia, both of whom are also in the hunt, according to a Footybunker.com report.

Yoann Miguel Gourcuff, who has been described as a playmaker of real quality and an accomplished passer of the ball, has previously been compared to France great Zinedine Zidane for his playing style.

Gourcuff joined Lyon from Bordeaux in 2010 and has since made 31 appearances for the club.