ARSENAL have to sell at least one midfielder if they want to sign Houssem Aouar, according to reports.
The Gunners have been heavily linked with the Lyon ace but reportedly need to make room on the wage bill before they bring him in with four players' futures at risk.
Arsenal – who are favourites to sign the Frenchman – are said to have launched an official bid after Lyon dropped their original asking price to just £17million.
Le 10 Sport claimed the Ligue 1 star could cost the Gunners under a third of the £54m fee club officials hoped to get in 2020.
Aouar, 23 – who is said to have skipped pre-season training to force through a move – had been heavily linked with a switch to the Emirates before the start of the 2020-21 season.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is thought to be keen on the versatile ace who can play centrally or on the wing.
But players need to leave before they finalise the deal, according to ESPN.
Matteo Guendouzi has already left for Marseille.
The 22-year-old has initially signed for the Ligue 1 side on loan but Jorge Sampaoli's side have an obligation to buy him permanently next summer.
And the North Londoners are also in talks with Roma about a deal to take Granit Xhaka to Jose Mourinho's new side.
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Arsenal are also said to be open to offers for Lucas Torreira and uncertainty remains over the futures of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock.
Martin Odegaard's loan deal will not be extended or made permanent so with all those outgoings, there should be room for Aouar.
In September reports in France claimed Lyon had turned their noses up at two separate bids from the North London giants of £31m and £34.5m.
However, Le 10 Sport say the Gunners have returned with a fresh offer for the midfielder whose current contract with the French outfit runs out in 2023.
And it is thought LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid and Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain could be set to rival Arsenal for the France player’s signature.
It is believed the club’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League may have influenced a drop in price.
However, the player faced some fitness struggles last term after picking up a thigh injury in November 2020.
The Lyon-born ace’s spell on the treatment table led to him missing out on France’s involvement in Uefa’s Nations League after being called up by Didier Deschamps
And Aouar was also left out of the Les Bleus squad for this year’s European Championships.
In June SunSport reported Arsenal were preparing a contract worth £100,000-a-week in a bid to lure Aouar to the Emirates.
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