Arsenal transfers: Gunners dealt France midfielder blow

Arsenal transfers: Maxime Gonalons will be staying at Lyon beyond the summer, according to manager Hubert Fournier

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Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Maxime Gonalons after the Lyon manager confirmed the France midfielder won’t leave the club this summer.

The 25-year-old has emerged as one of Lyon’s key players over the past three seasons, helping the club secure a top-five finish last season and winning the Coupe de France in 2012.

The defnsive midfielder made two assists in 36 Ligue 1 appearances last season, attracting interest from the Gunners and Coppa Italia winners Napoli.

However, Lyon boss Hubert Fournier is confident that Gonalons believes in the project at the club and is set to stay beyond the summer transfer window.

“I am a very happy coach. We have a sporting project and it’s very important to have players like Maxime, that represent the spirit of the club,” Fournier is quoted as saying.

“It’s a big decision and a strong one for him. It’s not a small little club that was knocking on his door! I chatted with him a few weeks ago. He told me then that he wanted to stay at the club.

“This decision is an honour to him. He has been one of the leaders of the club for a long time. I can feel he is very attached to OL. He is OL’s captain and that says it all.”

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