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Grenier claims Arsenal bid rejected

ESPN staff
July 3, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Clement Grenier has made a big impression on Arsene Wenger © AP
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Arsenal target Clement Grenier has admitted he is flattered by interest from the Gunners and revealed his Lyon future remains unclear.

Grenier's spectacular end to the Ligue 1 season helped convince Arsene Wenger the France international midfielder could fit into his plans in north London. The Arsenal boss, however, faces a battle to capture Grenier with Lyon determined to hold onto one of most promising homegrown talents, despite the player having just a year left on his contract.

"I know Lyon have rejected an offer from Arsenal. Of course it's flattering that clubs are interested in me," Grenier told Le Parisien, having already declared to RTL he is unsure of where he will be playing next season. "It's hard for me to talk about my future now because I'm not yet certain of it. I prefer to wait to be 100% sure of what is going to happen before I do it."

OL's resistance to part company with the 22-year-old is explained by his metamorphosis from bit-part player, whom Lyon would have sold to Nice last summer only to veto the move when Yoann Gourcuff got injured, into an integral part of the club's immediate future.

Club president Jean-Michel Aulas declared earlier this week both parties were "looking at a one-year extension, perhaps more." Grenier, however, told RTL on Tuesday evening that further talks between Aulas, coach Remi Garde, himself and his agents after the squad's return from their pre-season training camp in the Alpine resort of Tignes on Friday would finally clarify the situation.

"My decision will be made and announced after the meeting. As soon as I'm 100% certain, then I can say more about it. Even for me it's a little complicated. I'm very happy to return to Tignes, to prepare. I know the season will be long. That's my priority for the moment."

Between the end of France's end-of-season tour of South America, during which Grenier picked up his maiden senior cap, and his holidays, he declared he had already made his mind up regarding his future plans, and had informed both Garde and Aulas.

"Perhaps I'll be at Lyon [next season]. Anyway, I have a year left on my contract, so whatever happens, if the club doesn't want to sell, I'll be a Lyon player. The president knows what I want, that's why we're trying to strike a deal," Grenier told L'Equipe, before suggesting the bitter taste left by the club's aborted attempts to sell him to Nice last summer could yet see him run the risk of angering OL fans by leaving.

"Lyon is their life and it's mine for the moment. Of course I can put myself in their position. Conversely, things happened at the start of the season, and they can also put themselves in my shoes."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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