Sunderland have opened transfer negotiations over a permanent bid for Clement Grenier, with Lyon unwilling to loan out the ex-Newcastle United transfer target.
French club Lyon confirmed over the weekend that they had received a formal offer from Sunderland for transfer-listed midfielder Grenier – who wants to leave the club after two injury-hit years in Ligue 1.
Sam Allardyce is eager to boost his options in the middle of the park and has made no secret of Sunderland’s continued focus on the French market, after the successful January captures of Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri.
The size of Sunderland’s bid for Grenier is unclear, but sources in France have indicated that it is an offer for a permanent switch, with Lyon not considering letting the 25-year-old leave on loan.
But by going public over Sunderland’s approach, Lyon chief executive Jean-Michel Aulas is clearly trying to flush out interest from elsewhere after Grenier was linked with newly-promoted Middlesbrough earlier this summer.
“At the moment, we have not had many enquiries,” Aulas told the French media.
“We had an offer from Sunderland, I do not know what the status of that is. There has also been an enquiry from Italy.
“He has his own destiny in his hands.”
Grenier was rated as one of the top midfielders in Europe a couple of years ago and was the subject of a failed £12million bid from Newcastle in January 2014 after the Magpies sold Yohan Cabaye.
But injuries have derailed his progress, with the French international making just 24 league appearances over the last two years.
He was transfer-listed by mutual consent at the end of last season, despite having another two years to run on his contract.
Meanwhile, Belgian right-back Thomas Meunier has joined Paris Saint-Germain despite interest from Sunderland.
Sunderland are clearly in need of a new right-back this summer after the departure of loanee DeAndre Yedlin, albeit the Black Cats are interested in bringing back the American international on another season-long loan.
Meunier claimed Sunderland and West Ham were among seven clubs vying for his signature, but he has decided to join PSG in a £6m move from Club Brugge.