Gourcuff prepared to take pay cut to seal transfer to Arsenal

Yoann Gourcuff appears eager to join Arsenal this summer.

The France international seems to have been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium for the past few years, dating back to his time at Rennes when he first made his name. He has gone on to appear for Milan, Bordeaux and his current club, Lyon, but once again he is being touted for a move to England ahead of the 2 September deadline.

Arsene Wenger is a known admirer of his compatriot, and considered signing him in the summer of 2011 when he lost both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively. However, a past riddled with injuries dissuaded the Gunners coach, although he did predict the playmaker would get back to his best.

An ankle problem restricted Gourcuff to just 13 league appearances that season, whilst last term he managed just 18. But he has started this campaign in bright fashion, scoring one and assisting in two more in a 4-0 win over Nice last weekend. It has been reported that Lorient want to take the 27-year-old on loan, but Stade de Gerland president Jean-Michel Aulas simply won’t entertain the idea of letting him leave for another Ligue 1 side.

This could well reignite the interest of Wenger, who has endured a hugely frustrating summer. A number of targets, including Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain, have evaded the Frenchman, who has been able to add just young striker Yaya Sanogo to his options. Gourcuff, though, appears keen to make the move to the English capital, and would even take a reduction in salary to complete the switch in the coming days.

“Can you see us paying part of his salary for him to play against us with another French club?” he said in L’Equipe.  “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.”

Gourcuff, who has 29 caps for Les Bleus but will not figure in their friendly match with Belgium on Wednesday evening, remains under contract at Lyon until the summer of 2015.


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