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May 3, 2013

Gonalons agent denies Monaco link

Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons, who has been linked with a £10 million move to Arsenal, is not on his way to Monaco, his agent has said.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is reported to have sent scouts to watch the midfielder in action, but recent speculation has linked him with a move to Ligue 2 champions-elect Monaco as they look to strengthen their squad for a return to the top flight.

The principality club, owned by Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, have been linked with a number of high-profile players since coach Claudio Ranieri guided them to within a win of returning to Ligue 1 after a two-year absence.

France international Gonalons, 24, is the latest, but his agent, Frederic Guerra, told RMC Radio: "There's never been any official contact, nor unofficial contact, on the subject of this potential destination. Not from OL, nor from Monaco."

Although their promotion is all but secure, Monaco's future plans do have an element of uncertainty.

The French Football League's (LFP) Administrative Council voted in March that all clubs playing in their competitions must be based in France for tax purposes by the end of the 2013-14 season.

If Monaco, who have been affiliated to the French league since 1933, were to comply with the decision, it would remove the advantage they gain from a fiscal agreement between France and the principality.

The agreement means foreign players do not pay income tax, while the club's contributions to the state are estimated by Ligue 1 clubs to be around 20% lower than their own.

Monaco have vowed to fight the measure, and Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud told RMC the prospect of the French government introducing a 75% tax on all earnings above €1 million meant the loophole had to be closed to put all clubs on the same footing.

"It's good news that Monaco are coming back into Ligue 1,” he said. “They're a club for which I have a lot of affection.

“But we're applying rules which are obsolete. The measures, which in 1968 [when they were introduced] gave Monaco an advantage give them even more of an advantage today.

“You can say what you like about PSG, but at least they're subject to the same rules as me."

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