• Premier League

Lyon reject Gourcuff Arsenal link

ESPN staff
January 22, 2013
Yoann Gourcuff has been linked to Arsenal © Getty Images

Lyon have moved to play down speculation France international Yoann Gourcuff could leave the club this month.

Arsenal have been strongly linked to Gourcuff, who has failed to shine at OL since his €22 million move from Bordeaux in the summer of 2010.

Though the 26-year-old started the current campaign promisingly, a knee injury sidelined him for more than two months, and a further niggle ruled him out of Lyon's three league games before Christmas.

Club president Jean-Michel Aulas has made public his desire to lower the club's wage bill as well as sell off OL's most valuable assets to help balance the books, including at least one sale in the January transfer window.

Though Gourcuff fits the bill on both counts - he was rated the eighth-best-paid French sportsperson by L'Equipe earlier this year with an annual salary of €6.8 million - Aulas told Tutto Mercato in Italy it is unlikely the France international will leave.

"He'll almost certainly stay until June," Aulas said. "After that, we'll talk about his value, but he's been injured, so it's not yet the time to talk about a transfer."

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