Arsene Wenger has been given a hands off warning from Lyon regarding their captain Maxime Gonalons.
A statement on the official Lyon website has categorically denied that a transfer fee has been set for Arsenal target Maxime Gonalons, according to the Daily Express.
The Lyon captain, 24, is highly regarded around Europe after another successful season, and Arsenal and Napoli have both been credited with a strong interest.
However, the statement said: “Olympique Lyonnais were very surprised to read in L’Equipe this morning that we would set a transfer figure for Maxime Gonalons and that it would be more than €12 million.
“The club have no intention of parting with our captain and this is a matter of clear strategy, namely the further development of our club around our best young players from the academy of which Maxime Gonalons is one of the best examples.
“The club therefore deny any contact and any negotiations with Napoli and regret any suggestion otherwise, as suggested in this newspaper.”
The Gunners are looking for another holding midfielder after Abou Diaby was ruled out for nine months in March after tearing his cruciate ligament. Alex Song was never properly replaced following his departure to Barcelona last summer, and Mikel Arteta is not seen as robust enough to consistently perform in the position.
Gonalons made 35 league appearances for Lyon last year, the club he has represented since the age of 10. If he were to join he would join a very long list of Frenchmen recruited by Arsene Wenger during his 17 years at the helm.