Arsenal have had a bid rejected for Lyon attacking midfielder Clement Grenier. French newspaper Le10 reports that Lyon turned down a €10 million offer from the Gunners.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has previously declared his interest in Grenier, according to ESPN.co.uk. The young midfield schemer is a classic Wenger transfer target.
He is a cerebral and versatile playmaker, and plays with a natural quality and near-flawless technique. Wenger has often indulged his fondness for creative, passing attacking midfielders.
The likes of Robert Pires and Cesc Fabregas were major successes in this role. Samir Nasri and Aleksandr Hleb were also key performers, albeit for shorter periods of time.
Wenger still bases Arsenal's style of play on quick and intelligent pass-and-move football. Grenier perfectly fits that style. He can play on the flanks or in the middle, offering the kind of fluidity Wenger demands in midfield.
He would produce fine combination play with current Gunners maestros Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere. Wenger's teams are at their best when they have creative partnerships in attack. Fabregas thrived when he was surrounded by Hleb and Rosicky, and later Nasri.
Arsenal did not really boast this dynamic during the 2012/13 season. Cazorla was often isolated as the Gunners' sole advanced creative ace.
Wilshere and Rosicky both struggled with injuries and that is why a move for Grenier makes sense. He would give Wenger another option in a key area of the team.
The 22-year-old is a rising talent who was on fine form in Ligue 1 last season. He is reported to have only one year remaining on his current deal.
However, Lyon remain determined to encourage Grenier to pen fresh terms. The French outfit are notoriously difficult to negotiate with and have become expert at getting maximum value in the market.
Arsenal want to add another attacking midfielder. But they are also keen to sign a defensive midfielder and a central striker, according to BBC journalist David Ornstein.
Grenier fits the mold of a Wenger signing. But with other pressing needs, the Arsenal chief will be loathed to offer more to land his target.