Arsenal have seen a player-plus-cash offer for Houssem Aouar rejected by Lyon, with Matteo Guendouzi included as bait in the deal.
Aouar is reportedly valued at around £44million after producing a string of impressive displays this season, which have helped Lyon reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
And according to French outlet L’Equipe , Arsenal recently submitted an offer to bring the midfielder to north London.
Mikel Arteta is keen to strengthen in the middle of the park this summer amid doubts over Dani Ceballos’ permanent future at the club – and with Guendouzi surplus to requirements.
Atletico Madrid star Thomas Partey is also believed to be on his radar, but the Spanish club are not prepared to accept anything less than his £45million release clause.
The Gunners therefore turned their attention to Aouar, who is set to face Manchester City in the last eight of the Champions League this evening.
Yet their player-plus-cash offer, which would have seen Guendouzi head in the opposite direction, has been turned down by Lyon.
Aouar could still be available for the right price this summer, however, after Lyon recently admitted his future at the club is uncertain.
Sporting director Juninho told RMC Sport: “Houssem Aouar? When you have great players in the squad, it is quite logical that other bigger teams with greater economic power come to seek the players.
“There is a risk of losing important players.
“If we lose important players, I have already spoken with the president, we will have the right to balance the workforce.”
Arsenal are keen to offload Guendouzi in the summer transfer window after he was sent to train away from the first team during Project Restart.
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Arteta is understood to have lost patience with the French midfielder after their 2-1 defeat away any Brighton back in June, which saw him become embroiled in a heated scuffle with Neal Maupay.
The Gunners boss reportedly held crunch talks with Guendouzi shortly after, and after proving unsuccessful he was forced to train away from his team-mates.
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