Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas warned Houssem Aouar not to get his hopes up over a move to Arsenal, insisting they don’t have the funds to get the deal over the line.
Aouar is thought to be one of Mikel Arteta’s top summer targets as he looks to bolster his Arsenal midfield.
Lyon are demanding £54million for the 22-year-old, however, which could prove to be a stumbling block.
Arsenal are desperately trying to trim down their squad to raise funds to bring new recruits to the club but time is running out before the end of the transfer window.
And Aulas publicly suggested that Aouar should be preparing to remain at Lyon this season.
Asked if Aouar will stay at Lyon, Aulas replied: ‘Financially, Arsenal are like everyone else (in a tricky spot).
‘And Houssem could say to himself that the best thing would be to stay with us.’
Arsenal are not thought to be the only club interested in landing the Frenchman.
It’s been reported that a mystery Champions League club reached out to express their interest in signing the central midfielder.
Juventus and Bayern Munich are among the clubs who have been linked with him in the past.