Arsenal remain in hot pursuit of defensive-midfield reinforcements in spite of Francis Coquelin’s recent first-team emergence and new contract.
However, one man who looks less likely to sate their hunger today is Lars Bender of Bayer Leverkusen, who is reportedly a target for Barcelona.
Instead Lyon’s Maxime Gonalons is the latest name on Gunners lips, with the Frenchman 7/5 to be plying his trade at the Emirates next season.
According to the Metro Arsenal have scouted the 25-year-old on multiple occasions over the past two years.
Hard-balling negotiation from Les Gones stalled a summer deal, but reports that seem to originate from Spanish website Fichajes suggest Arsene Wenger will get his man at the end of the current campaign.
A proficient destroyer in the Ligue-1-leading Lyon side, Gonalons averages a stellar 4.1 tackles and 2.8 interceptions an outing.
While he is understood to be happy at Stade de Gerland, the six-cap France international is thought to be keen to test himself in the Premier League.
This latest development in the Gunners search for an authority in central defence comes as the likelihood they will sign Bayer Leverkusen man Bender recedes.
According to Mundo Deportivo in Spain the long-term Arsenal target has been identified as a potential Barcelona acquisition by Josep Maria Bartomeu, a candidate in the club’s presidential election.
However, were Arsenal keen to rival the Catalan club for Bender’s signature they have every chance of beating them to the punch.
Barca will next be able to sign players in 2016, meaning in theory the Gunners would have all summer to woo the German international should they wish to.
Arsenal are 3/4 to record their fourth successive victory over Crystal Palace since the Eagles returned to the top flight at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
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