Arsenal have offered £31.4m plus a player in exchange for Houssem Aouar but the proposal was knocked back by Lyon, according to RMC Sport.
Mikel Arteta has strengthened his attack with the arrival of Willian while the defence has been further boosted by the signing of Gabriel Magalhaes after Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari made their loan moves permanent.
The Arsenal boss is now focusing his efforts on bringing in a central midfielder as Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are both being linked with moves away from the Emirates this summer so Arteta needs to sign at least one replacement.
Several names have been linked but Aouar emerged as a prime target last week when The Athletic reported that Arsenal were in talks with Lyon over a potential deal to sign the highly-rated 22-year-old.
It looks like the north Londoners have now formalised their interest as RMC Sport claims that Arsenal have offered to pay £31.4m and include a player in exchange for Aouar’s signature this summer.
Speculation suggests the mystery player is French U21 captain Guendouzi but the offer hasn’t been enough to tempt Lyon as the French news outlet says the Ligue 1 side have already rejected Arsenal’s proposal.
It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will go back in with an improved bid but Aouar would be an excellent addition to Arteta’s squad if the Gunners could get a deal agreed this summer.
The Frenchman has developed into one of the most exciting youngsters in European football and he starred for Lyon last season with 9 goals and 10 assists to help them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
His performances have caught the attention of Arsenal scouts and it seems Arteta wants Aouar to be a focal point in his new-look team this season but Lyon aren’t going to let one of their key men leave easily.
Money is tight at the Emirates this summer so it makes sense for Arsenal to try and include an unwanted player such as Guendouzi in any deal and it would also give Lyon a direct replacement.
However, it looks like the Gunners will have to dig a little deeper if they want to get a deal agreed. Arteta may now have to offload some fringe players to generate some money to help fund an improved offer for Aouar.