This summer is a completely different one for Arsenal. While Robin van Persie announced he won’t be a gunner for much longer, the club is trying to show the fans (and possibly him) that they are deeply involved in the transfer market this time, with Hugo Lloris of Lyon, one of the best goalkeepers in the world, lined up for acquisition.
Lloris has been with Lyon for the last four years and this isn’t the first offseason period with big teams chasing him. Lloris was actually targeted by AC Milan when he was playing for Nice, but not being promised a starting spot with the Italians pushed him towards signing with the French champions back then. Lloris hasn’t won a league title with Lyon, only the French Cup last season.
A lack of titles hasn’t stopped Lloris from becoming the best goalkeeper in France and one of the best in Europe over the past three years, also elevating him to the position of the captain with the National team after Laurent Blanc got the head coach position. He played in all four matches for France in Euro 2012.
While Jean-Michel Aulas, Lyon’s president, wasn’t so keen to release Lloris to the arms of a different club for anything less than €30-25 million last summer and overall these past couple of years, it looks like he might be leaving Lyon for a lot less this time. Lloris himself has said he would welcome a move to the Premier League and Arsenal, and Lyon fear that eventually, they’ll miss out on making money off of him due to the expiring contract in the near future.
The Arsenal offer is rumored to be £15-12 million, while Lyon want to wait before the deal is announced so they can identify a replacement for Lloris, not an easy goalkeeper to replace. For Arsenal, it will be their third major signing of the summer, after already brining in Lukas Podolski from Koln and Olivier Giroud from French champions Montpellier.
The notion of Arsenal not being big spenders is sometimes misleading – They spent £51 million on players last season, just not on players from the highest calibers as their fans would love them to do. Going for Lloris seems to be a move in a more high-profile direction, which was probably very much needed for the team and Wenger himself.