Arsenal are still keen on signing Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar - but they will now face competition from a Champions League club, who are preparing a late offer for his services.
Despite the return of Dani Ceballos on loan for the 2020/21 season, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is still looking to further strengthen in midfield. 22-year-old Aouar has been linked with a move to the north London club for some time now, with the player himself said to be ready for a new challenge.
It's even been suggested in recent days that the midfielder has agreed personal terms with Arsenal - but the £55m asking price remains an issue for their top target. Indeed, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas recently confirmed this himself.
The Telegraph report that the Gunners will now also need to fend off interest from an unnamed Champions League club if they wish to secure his services. The club are even preparing a late offer, and with Aouar aware of this, he will now wait to see what unfolds before making a final decision on his future.
As for Lyon, they are expecting to receive bids for the Frenchman before the transfer window slams shut. While Arsenal will, of course, not be playing Champions League football this term (unlike the other unnamed interested party), this won't have too much of an impact on Aouar's decision.
The Telegraph particularly allude to the recent signing of Gabriel and the ability to tie captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down to a new deal as indicators that the club are heading in the right direction.
Arteta 'would welcome' another midfielder this summer - Thomas Partey has also been heavily linked - as he looks to build a squad capable of competing in a number of different competitions this campaign. The Gunners have already seen one bid knocked back by Lyon for Aouar, a player-plush-cash offer involving Matteo Guendouzi, but are expected to return with another offer.
The Ligue 1 outfit are standing firm in their valuation of the player and while Arsenal are still keen to make the move happen, it remains to be seen whether they will be able to meet Lyon's demands before the deadline.