Time is running out as Arsene Wenger seeks ways to bolster Arsenal's roster before the transfer window closes. One intriguing option that's become a lot more realistic in recent days is Lyon attacking midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.
The 27-year-old French international showed a lot of potential during the early stages of his career with Rennes. He's struggled to live up to the hype during stints with AC Milan, Bordeaux and his current club, however, and a change of scenery could be in order.
Patrick Haond of Sky Sports passed along comments Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas made to French outlet L'Equipe in which he refuted the idea of sending Gourcuff to another French club while also paying part of his hefty salary.
He also said the midfielder was apparently ready to accept a pay cut to secure a move to the Emirates:
Can you see us paying part of his salary for him to play against us with another French club? We've never considered that and it would be even more stupid now than it was a fortnight ago.
All that I know, if I understood correctly, is that he was ready to lower his salary to go to Arsenal, but that's not the same thing.
Gourcuff is off to a strong start in the new campaign, appearing in all three of the club's matches. He scored a stoppage-time goal and chipped in two assists in the Ligue 1 opener against Nice as Lyon earned an impressive 4-0 victory.
Yet, the lack of that type of production during his his first three seasons with the club is the main reason his name is being bantered about on the transfer market. The potential for a breakout season has always loomed, but he's failed to deliver.
Perhaps the promising start is a sign he's finally ready to take the next step. His past struggles to maintain top form haven't been due to talent. In fact, he's flashed the ability necessary to play a key role on the attack for a club in one of Europe's top leagues.
The biggest issue has been consistency. The stretches of good form have often been offset by stretches where he fails to make any type of impact. Throw in some injury issues and his time with Lyon simply hasn't gone according to plan.
Yet without those struggles, he probably wouldn't be a possibility for Arsenal. If his talent level and production matched, Lyon wouldn't even consider moving him to another club in the prime of his career.
Should Arsenal chase a Gourcuff deal?
Since that hasn't been the case, Arsenal have an opportunity to take a chance on him with hope he finally finds his comfort zone and reaches expectations. Given his apparent willingness to take a pay cut, it's a risk worth taking for the Gunners.
Wenger has spent a large portion of the summer trying to land Luis Suarez but hasn't been able to finalize a deal in the ongoing saga. And he can't afford to let the window shut without making any marquee additions to the squad.
Gourcuff would bring creativity and versatility to the Arsenal midfield. While he's a natural attacking midfielder, he can adapt to various different roles to help Wenger as he starts to finalize his lineup, with or without a new striker to lead the way.
At a reduced price, Arsenal would be wise to make a serious push to sign him before the window closes. The talent for him to become a top asset remains.