According to reports from an Arsenal Supporters' Trust meeting this evening, special guest Julien Laurens -- a French soccer journalist based in London (who contributes to the Guardian, BT Sport, and TalkSport) -- claimed that Tottenham Hotspur goalie Hugo Lloris may be able to leave his long-term contract with the club due to a Champions League-related clause.
According to Laurens, the French international keeper has a €20m release clause in his contract this summer that can be activated by any Champions League-qualifying club (that's just over £14m) if Spurs do not qualify themselves. Lloris, as we reported last week, is in the first year of a five-year contract, but appears interested in a move away from North London. (Or, at least that part of North London.)
JL says Hugo Lloris has a €20m release-clause for any Champions League club should Tottenham not qualify themselves this summer. Amazing!— FK² (@fkhanage) April 27, 2015
Of course, rumors about Lloris going to Manchester United -- who would replace a theoretically-Real-Madrid-bound David de Gea -- are persisting. But if any Champions League-qualified team is able to bid for Lloris, then Arsenal and maybe even PSG could bid. (And if United, who has dropped two straight Premier League matches, finishes the season in their current 4th place position, we could get into the whole joyful semantics of whether a fourth-place EPL team is really qualified for Champions League football until completing the home-and-away leg against Insert Turkish Team Here in August.)
Other interesting things Laurens said include:
* Arsenal would have paid the £32m release clause for current Chelsea star Eden Hazard, but Hazard's demands for £200k a week in wages made him a little less attractive to Arsenal;
* French international and erstwhile Arsenal transfer rumor Yann M'Villa was actually going to come to Arsenal before manager Arsene Wenger ultimately deemed him a liability;
* He suspects that two Arsenal midfielders could be on their way out this summer -- Santi Cazorla to a Spanish club, and Jack Wilshere to Manchester City;
* Steve Bould's influence is growing -- including being the catalyst for the recent Gabriel sighting;
* Wenger will retire after 20 years with Arsenal (so, at the end of the '15-'16 season), would aim to go out with a EPL trophy-style mic drop, and Wenger and Ivan Gazidis are eyeing Pep Guardiola as the next Arsenal manager.