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Lyon eager to keep Gourcuff

By Football News



Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has played down suggestions that midfielder Yoann Gourcuff could leave the club.

Gourcuff, whose contract at the Stade de Gerland expires in June 2015, has been linked with a move to Premier League side Arsenal in the January transfer window.

The 27-year-old has endured an injury-hit spell at Lyon, but is enjoying a strong season for Remi Garde's men so far, scoring four goals in 20 appearances.

And Aulas is keen to keep Gourcuff at the seven-time Ligue 1 champions, at least until the end of the season.

"I must remind you that I have always supported him and I am therefore very happy that he's now showing all his quality," Aulas said.

"It's true that we've received a number of calls about him from abroad. But we also have to think about the second half of the season.

"That's why, for the four or five players we've been asked about, the idea is to keep them, because I remind you that we're still in all competitions."

Lyon rejected a bid worth €17million from Napoli for captain Maxime Gonalons last week, a decision which Aulas believes is in the best interests of both the club and the player.

"It was a difficult choice to make with a club who were asking for a player we have nurtured," he added.

"In that case, you have to think about the interest of the club but also that of the player, with Brazil looming on the horizon at the end of the season.

"That's what we explained to him and, in agreement with Max, we tried to find the best solution. After that, we needed to explain to the board because it was an exceptional financial operation."