Arsenal are in danger of missing out on signing Houssem Aouar this summer as Lyon are standing firm over their €60 million (£54.5m) asking price, according to reports.
But Aouar is also highly regarded by Mikel Arteta and Arsenal’s hierarchy and the Gunners are keen to sign the midfielder before the end of the window.
Lyon have already rejected Arsenal’s proposal of a swap deal involving Matteo Guendouzi this summer.
And according to Fabrizio Romano, Lyon will not entertain any exchange offers with Arsenal and will only sell Aouar if their €60m (£54.5m) valuation is met.
Romano also claims that Aouar would welcome the chance to make the move to the Premier League.
Speaking earlier this week, Lyon’s sporting director, Juninho, confirmed that he had rejected Arsenal’s exchange deal involving Aouar and Guendouzi.
‘I get along very well with their sporting director [Edu],’ Juninho said.
‘We spoke on the phone. Houssem Aouar is really appreciated by Arteta. There have been some discussions for Matteo Guendouzi who is also a good player.
‘He was mentioned during the discussion, but this is not the profile we need, we were very clear. If it is like that, it does not interest us at all… it is, and we stopped.’
‘In January I called Alexandre Lacazette to chat a bit with him because he was having problems at Arsenal and I said to myself, ‘Why not do a loan for six months with us where you will enjoy yourself, play all the games and score the goals like you know how to? And then you go back to Arsenal or somewhere else’,’ said Juninho.
‘But from the moment that you start looking at the level of the contract of these players, like with Juventus and Barcelona, it is not possible for us today. Today, we have to tell the truth, we cannot pay the salary for a player like [Samuel] Umtiti.
‘We have to be honest with the supporters. But if the player is looking for a project, is willing to make an effort maybe with a longer contract, wants to come home, then I will go and get him straight away.’