Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas spoke to French sports agency L’Equipe on Tuesday, dropping two new pieces of transfer gossip affecting Arsenal and Newcastle.
Aulas announced that Lyon midfield Yoann Gourcuff wants to join Arsenal, and the French international, once dubbed the new Zidane, would be take a pay cut in order to seal a switch to the Gunners.
Aulas told L’Equipe:
Can you see us paying part of his salary for him to play against us with another French club? We’ve never considered that and it would be even more stupid now than it was a fortnight ago.
All that I know, if I understood correctly, is that he was ready to lower his salary to go to Arsenal, but that’s not the same thing. I spoke to his lawyer two weeks ago and he asked for the power of attorney to negotiate a transfer. I said no, but I would be keen to offer a non-exclusive power of attorney to see what happens.
Despite the President’s comments, there are sizable doubts that Gourcuff will move to the Emirates this summer.
There are reports that 27-year-old Gourcuff picked up a knee injury in Lyon’s 4-0 win over Nice in round one of the season: a match where the midfielder opened his account for the season with a super free-kick, as well as bagging two assists.
Gourcuff’s new injury scare is just a latest in a long history of physical setbacks for the playaker. With a salary of £80,000-a-week combined with his sicknote reputation, it would be reasonable to argue that while Gourcuff may want to move to Arsenal, Arsenal wouldn’t want to sign him.
As for future of Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis, the French international will not be joining Newcastle, according to Aulas.
In the same interview with L’Equipe, the Lyon President updated reporters:
His circumstances have changed. Newcastle ended talks and we don’t have any other offers.
The most logical solution would be for everyone to get back down to business and for him to prolong for another year. But there are other factors to consider, most notably what [head coach] Remi Garde wants to do.
Individual highlights of Yoann Gourcuff’s man of the match performance against Nice last Saturday is below.