Aulas says Gourcuff set to stay at Lyon
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has suggested that Yoann Gourcuff is now likely to stay at the club -- despite having recently hinted he could cash in on the midfielder.
Gourcuff, 27 -- linked with a move to Arsenal -- has largely failed to deliver on the promise that once saw him hailed as Zinedine Zidane's natural successor since his 22 million euro move from Bordeaux in 2010.
With 18 months remaining on his five-year deal and OL aiming to cut costs, Gourcuff was offered a two-year extension on lower wages just before Christmas.
He rejected the offer, but his improved form since the start of the season, capped by an excellent individual display in last weekend's win over Sochaux, has helped convince Aulas that his immediate future lies at the Stade de Gerland.
"I must remind you that I have always supported him and I am therefore very happy that he's now showing all his quality," he 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."
Gourcuff's case mirrors that of Maxime Gonalons, who last week saw Aulas veto a proposed 17 million euro move to Napoli.
"It was a difficult choice to make with a club who were asking for a player we have nurtured," he said. "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."