Lyon finalise transfer plan to prepare for Houssem Aouar's departure amid Arsenal talks
The French side are seemingly preparing for life after Houssem Aouar amid intense speculation that Arsenal are looking to sign the midfielder
Olympique Lyonnais are reportedly eyeing a move for AC Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta, as the Ligue 1 side prepare for the possible departure of three of their key players.
The French club upset the odds to reach the Champions League semi-final last season, with a memorable victory over Manchester City along the way.
Among their most impressive performers was midfielder Houssem Aouar, with the 22-year-old hugely influential in their win over Pep Guardiola's City in the quarter-final.
Aouar's form has seen him heavily linked with a move away in the current transfer window, with City, Juventus and Arsenal all touted as potential destinations.
The Gunners are seemingly favourites to sign the highly-rated midfielder, with latest reports suggesting that talks are being held between the two clubs.
According to the Guardian's Fabrizio Romano, the 22-year-old wants to seal a move to Arsenal this summer - and this comes off the back of reports that a bid was being prepared.
Lyon sporting director Juninho also recently confirmed he has spoken to his Arsenal counterpart Edu, with the Gunners making a player-plus-cash deal involving unwanted midfielder Matteo Guendouzi.
If Aouar does leave his boyhood club, L'Equipe claim that Lyon are ready to sign Paqueta to compensate.
The 23-year-old attacking midfielder joined Milan in 2019 after impressing at Flamengo with 10 goals in 32 league appearances in final season.
But the Brazilian international has struggled for regular game time at the San Siro, and Lyon could hand him a lifeline, as they look to replace Aouar - and possibly Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Memphis Depay, who have also both been linked with exits.
have also both been linked with exits.
For Arsenal, first team manager Mikel Arteta has admitted that the summer transfer window has been "complicated" amid the Gunners' search for new players.
The north London side are looking to build upon their FA Cup and Community Shield success, and have already made several signings ahead of the new campaign.
Arteta decline to address Aouar specifically but admitted that it has been a struggle to land all of the club's targets.
“I don’t want to talk about players at other clubs," Arteta told reporters before Arsenal's 3-0 win over Fulham.
“A very strange mini pre-season with factors that are difficult to control. Today is the first time we had the full squad to train.
"Towards the market, we bought Willian and Gabriel, two very good recruitments but a very complicated market so far.”