Ligue 1: Midfielder Maxime Gonalons decides to stay at Lyon
Last Updated: 03/07/14 11:02am
Midfielder Maxime Gonalons is staying at Lyon, the Ligue 1 club have announced.
The 25-year-old club captain has decided that his future remains with Les Gones, despite reportedly attracting the interest of a number of clubs across Europe, including Arsenal and Napoli.
The news has been welcomed by the French club's hierarchy, including new manager Hubert Fournier, who will hope Gonalons can help Lyon improve upon their fifth-place league finish last season.
The former Reims head coach told the club's official website: "I am a very happy coach. We have a sporting project and it's very important to have players like Maxime, that represent the spirit of the club.
"It's a big decision and a strong one for him. It's not a small little club that was knocking on his door! I chatted with him a few weeks ago. He told me then that he wanted to stay at the club.
"This decision is an honour to him. He has been one of the leaders of the club for a long time. I can feel he is very attached to OL. He is OL's captain and that says it all."
Gonalons, who missed out on a place in France's World Cup squad but was on Didier Deschamps' reserve list for Brazil, progressed through the youth ranks at Lyon before making his first-team debut in 2009.
He has gone on to make 144 Ligue 1 appearances for Lyon, scoring five goals. He won the first of his six France caps in 2011 in a friendly against USA.
Lyon also announced that they expect striker Mohamed Yattara to sign a new contract extension next week.