Arsenal and Watford target Yoann Gourcuff 'joins Tring Athletic'

Pranksters run riot on France international's Wikipedia page after claiming former Lyon midfielder will play in the Molten Spartan South Midlands League

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 18 August 2015 12:08 BST
Former Lyon midfielder Yoann Gourcuff
Former Lyon midfielder Yoann Gourcuff

Earlier this summer France international Yoann Gourcuff was being touted as a possible free transfer for Arsenal, although since leaving French side Lyon at the end of last season Premier League newbies Watford have been linked with the attacking midfielder.

However, in what appears to be the most bizarre transfer story in recent memory, Gourcuff has stunned fans across the globe and joined Molten Spartan South Midlands League side Tring Athletic.

Or has he?

Eagle-eyed fans across the Channel noticed that Gourcuff’s Wikipedia page had been updated to state his current club as Tring, having played for the likes of AC Milan and Bordeaux before joining Lyon in 2010.

Despite being earmarked as a star in the making – and a Football Manager favourite to boot – Gourcuff failed to meet his potential and the Ligue 1 side finally cut ties with his last month, leaving him free to join another club.

Yet much to Tring’s surprise, one prankster edited his Wikipedia page to trigger talk of a move to the Hertfordshire semi-professional club just off the A41. When Twitter posts began to appear debating the move, the club soon became aware of their ‘new star signing’.

The club’s official website decided to fuel speculation of a move by releasing a tongue-in-cheek statement, claiming the 29-year-old was tempted to Athletic by chairman Mick Eldridge with the offer of a “bottle of SidePocket (one of Tring Brewery’s famed ales) & two bags of Cheese and Onion crisps”.

Gourcuff has been linked with Arsenal during his career

In a further development, Lyon were soon replaced on his Wikipedia page by Arsenal, and with the France international available on a free this season, he could soon become the next Kim Kallstrom at the Emirates – providing he’s not turning it on at the Grass Roots Stadium.

It's worth adding though that until the club or player decide to confirm any deal, Yoann Gourcuff definitely hasn't joined Tring Athletic.

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