Arsenal technical director Edu called Lyon chiefs to propose a swap deal that would see Matteo Guendouzi head to Ligue 1 and Houssem Aouar move in the other direction to the Emirates.
Guendouzi’s time at Arsenal appears to be up, with Mikel Arteta growing tired of the young midfielder’s attitude. Arteta knows he has to offload players this summer in order to add to his squad. Willian has arrived on a free transfer but he wants to bring in several more players ahead of next season.
Arteta is a great admirer of Aouar, 22, who scored three goals and provided four assists in 23 Ligue 1 starts last season, scoring a further six goals in cup competitions.
Manchester City have also been tracking the midfielder for 22 months but they have so far not held any discussions with Lyon about signing him.
Arsenal are the only side to make any approach, with Edu proposing a swap deal that would see Arsenal also pay the French club some money, according to L’Equipe.
Lyon rejected the offer because they want a cash-only deal. While they rate Guendouzi, they don’t feel they need another midfielder and would prefer to invest the money back into their squad elsewhere.
Aouar will have a chance to test himself against English opposition on Saturday night when Lyon face Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The winner faces the daunting task of taking on Bayern Munich, who crushed Barcelona 8-2 on Friday evening. Paris Saint-Germain and Red Bull Leipzig will contest the other semi-final on Tuesday.