Manchester United and Arsenal may just have been given the green light to move for Maxime Gonalons, with Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas having conceded that the player will be allowed to move on this summer.
25-year-old midfielder Gonalons has spent his entire professional career at the club, but his stock has risen considerably over recent years and with Lyon now having fallen well behind the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco at domestic level, it could be that the French international could be keen to move to pastures new.
Aulas has made it clear that the club will not stand in his way and even went as far as to suggest that such a sale could be to Lyon's financial benefit, but it is clear he retains hope that Gonalons' obvious affection for the club has represented since childhood could lead him to stay put for a little longer.
"The heart of Maxime beats for Lyon. He has attracted the interest of several clubs and is among the most popular players," he said in an interview that was quoted by talkSPORT.
"I have always said he can leave the club at the end of the season. His sale could help us in economic terms.
"But I will see him before the holidays and tell him that his place is here in Lyon - if he wants he can stay with us again."
Both Manchester United and rivals Arsenal are likely to be boosted by Aulas' words, with the two clubs having been linked with Gonalons in recent times.
Manchester United will surely be keen to bring quality midfield reinforcements to Old Trafford this summer, with new manager Louis van Gaal - who was officially announced as the Red Devils' next permanent successor earlier this week - clearly tasked with improving upon David Moyes' wretched 10-month spell in charge.
Arsenal have enjoyed success with a number of French players over the years, with the likes of Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira having secured legendary status after flourishing under compatriot Arsene Wenger in North London.
A solid defensive midfielder who is comfortable in possession, Gonalons could prove the ideal signing.
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