Arsene Wenger has confirmed his interest in Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier, as reported by The Daily Mail.
Speaking to French programme Telefoot, Wenger said: "We are following him. His intelligence of play pleases me. He has interesting qualities. He reminds me of Nasri."
Arsenal are believed to have been in discussions with Lyon for a number of weeks over an £8 million move, and it seems the two parties are close to an agreement that would see Grenier plying his trade in the Premier League next season.
However, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has warned Arsenal that they must spend up to €37 million if they are to lure the Frenchman to the Emirates.
Speaking to Canal+, Aulas said: "Clement said to me that he will give priority to Lyon if we qualify for the Champions League. So I prefer [to listen to] what he said, rather than what Arsene Wenger said.
"But, we have to make a financial effort to keep him. We will see after the level of our effort [that we have to do].
"If Arsene wants to have an idea of Grenier's price, I will tell him that it is the same as what Bayern Munich paid for Mario Gotze - around €37 million."
The 22-year-old Frenchman has made 66 appearances for Les Gones – scoring six goals and achieving nine assists – since making his senior debut having progressed through the club’s youth ranks.
Grenier only really made his Lyon breakthrough this season and, as a result, there will be a question mark over his ability to quickly adapt to the Premier League.
In addition, he has also made appearances for all of France’s youth national teams.
Should Arsenal complete the signing of the young Frenchman, it would be yet another inexperienced player joining Arsenal’s ranks and questions will once again be raised about Wenger’s transfer policy.
There are several proven midfielders that can be acquired for – more or less – the same price that the Gunners would be forking out for Grenier and, if Arsenal truly want to be pushing for the title next season, these would be much more suitable options. Spending big on an unknown entity is never the answer.
Should the deal go through, there is a chance that Arsenal’s inconsistent forward, Gervinho, could be used as a makeweight in the deal - with the Ivorian having been linked with a return to Ligue 1 in recent weeks.
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