Arsenal are reportedly preparing a significantly improved bid for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar after their official approach was knocked back.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has made the French midfielder his priority transfer target and Arsenal chiefs are determined to deliver him to their manager.
Aouar is believed to be interested in a move to the Emirates but so far Lyon have rejected their advances.
A £32million bid was flatly turned down by the Ligue 1 side but now Arsenal are ready to up the ante.
According to Football.London, Arsenal will offer £36.5m up front, with a further £9m in potential add-ons.
They are hopeful that will be enough to convince Lyon to part ways with Aouar, who played a vital role in their run to the Champions League semi-final last season.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas indicated he would be willing to sell Aouar for the right price on Saturday but suggested Arsenal were some way short of their valuation.
‘There will be very few departures,’ Aulas said.
‘For Houssem, Arsenal are too far from his value: we are counting on him playing a great match against Lorient (this weekend) before leading Lyon in the Champions League next year.’
It’s thought that Lyon were originally only willing to let him leave for £55m but given financial pressures as a result of the coronavirus crisis, they are willing to drop that valuation to around £36-£41m.
No other club has made a formal approach for Aouar and Arsenal are thought to be at the head of the queue to sign him.
Personal terms are not expected to be an issue, with the 22-year-old happy to join Arsenal.
Thomas Partey remains on their radar as well.
The Atletico Madrid midfielder is willing to move to London this summer, with Arsenal attempting to offload current members of their squad in order to raise funds for both midfielders.
Lucas Torreira is one player Arteta is willing to dispose of but his £20m price tag is putting potential suitors off.
Torino sporting director Davide Vagnati said: ‘Torreira is a top player but his price is too high. It’s difficult to sign him from Arsenal, not just for us.’