Lyon midfielder and reported Arsenal target Maxime Gonalons has revealed he is open to a move to England in the summer.
The 23-year-old has been strongly linked with the Gunners of late, with Arsene Wenger reportedly sending scouts to run the rule over the holding midfielder in Lyon's 4-0 win over Bordeaux last week. And Gonalons, who scored against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League in midweek, has now stated his admiration for the Premier League and the Bundesliga.
"If I have to go, it would be abroad. I like the English and the German leagues. They are awesome. When I see the pitch and that type of game, I feel it's a dream," the player told Spanish newspaper Fichajes.
Gonalons, who broke into Lyon's first team in 2009, after coming through their youth ranks, has been impressive in the Ligue 1 this season, starting 24 of the club's 25 matches and scoring thrice. He also has six senior caps for France.
Arsenal have been on the lookout for an anchorman to replace the influential Alex Song. Lyon rate Gonalons highly and will be hoping to hold on to him for some more time but the club's financial situation means they could be receptive to a sizeable offer in the summer.
Lambert: Wenger Criticism over the Top
Meanwhile, Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert feels Wenger is being treated harshly by pundits and media. Last week Arsenal exited the FA Cup and also moved to the brink of elimination from the Champions League but Lambert insists the amount of criticism directed at the French tactician has been unfair.
"The level of criticism towards Arsene Wenger is a bit over the top. He's been there 16 years and he's just missed out on winning the Champions League against Barcelona. He's won the Premier League several times, he's won the FA Cup several times. If that's, 'You don't know what you're doing', then I think there's something not right," the Villans' boss said.
Arsenal welcome Villa to the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. Click here for an IBTimes UK preview.