Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas has warned Arsenal that Maxime Gonalons is not for sale this summer, but has encouraged the club amid their reported interest in Yoann Gourcuff.
The 24-year-old Gonalons has been linked with moves to the Gunners and to Rafa Benitez's Napoli after another impressive campaign at the Stade de Gerland.
Arsene Wenger dispatched his trusted scout Giles Grimandi to oversee the defensive midfielder's performances on more than one occasion last campaign, with the France international thought the be the formidable midfield presence needed to strengthen the defensive side of the club's midfield.
Amid the array of attacking talent in the Gunners midfield, the club have missed the industry of Alex Song, who joined Barcelona last season. While Abou Diaby is seen as the perfect remedy when fit, the Frenchman's persistent injury problems show no signs of subsiding and is not expected to return until Christmas.
The diligent Gonalons could present a solution, but Lyon's prudent president Michel Aulas has revealed the club will continue to turn down offers for one of their most prized assets, having already dismissed a bid from one unnamed European club.
"Unfortunately there are several clubs that made offers, one of them superior to €13m," Aulas is quoted as saying on Sky Sports.
"But he is part of our strategy. And with that I know, Maxime wants to stay at Lyon."
In addition to Gonalons, the Gunners have also seen their efforts to sign his Lyon teammate Clement Grenier rebuffed, French reports suggest. But the north Londoners may have greater hope of luring another midfielder from the Ligue 1 outfit to the Emirates in the form of Gourcuff, who has been told he has no future at the club.
The 26-year-old was recognised of one of the brightest French talents on the scene not too long ago. After a stint in Milan, the attacking midfielder returned to France where he played an integral role in Laurent Blanc's Ligue 1 winning campaign with Bordeaux in 2008/2009 before joining Lyon for €22m a year later.
Amid a number of injuries, Gourcuff's career has stagnated, but Wenger's long standing interest in the France international has seen the midfielder persistently linked with a move to London, something which the Arsenal boss has attempted in the past.
"I was interested in Yoann Gourcuff because at one time he was available," Wenger said in 2011. "Unfortunately we were in a hurry. We had to have players performing soon.
Gourcuff was scheduled to undergo surgery that summer, derailing Wenger's hopes of signing him on that occasion."
Should the Arsenal boss still hold his interest in the midfielder, he is unlikely to face any obstacles from Lyon, who are ready to cash in on Gourcuff.
"Yoann is part of the players that have had no real success at Lyon," Aulas added.
"We did not receive an offer for him, but we ad talks about a possible departure."