Gunners spy on Saints star

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Arsenal are still keeping a close watch on St Etienne starlet Loic Perrin, according to reports in France.

The Gunners have been linked with a move for the 21-year-old for some time but his recent progression with the Saints has been stunted by an eight month convalescence due to a knee injury.

Perrin resumed first team duties one month ago and France Football reports that Arsenal have maintained their interest in the youth international.

Former Gunners defender Gilles Grimandi - now a scout for the London club - has been impressed by Perrin's performances in Ligue 1 and has reportedly been giving a glowing recommendation to his former boss Arsene Wenger.

Perrin signed a new deal with St Etienne in December, meaning he is now contracted to the club until 2010, but Arsenal may decide to test the French side's resolve to keep their young star when the transfer window opens.