Lyon claim that Arsene Wenger has suggested to former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier that Arsenal want to sign Alexandre Lacazette.
Lacazette has emerged as Arsenal’s main transfer target this summer, with the striker of long-term interest to the Gunners.
The Frenchman was on the verge of joining Atletico Madrid, but the Spanish club’s transfer ban means a move to the capital is not viable until January.
That leaves Arsenal at the front of the queue for the forward, and Lyon chief-executive Jean-Michel Aulas says that his adviser Houllier has spoken with Wenger about Lacazette.
“I don’t have the intention to sell Alexandre quickly because there is still the will of Atletico Madrid to return on January 1. Now, I will listen also to what Alexandre says,” Aulas told L’Equipe.
“I saw Arsene during the France-England game (on June 13). I was with Gerard Houllier and I seemed to understand that he said to Gerard that there could be interest from Arsenal.
“But it is premature to say that things will happen. We need to get in a big transfer first. We cannot let a player of this quality leave without a replacement.
“Everyone knows that Atletico’s offer was €53million plus €12m in bonuses. That makes €65million (£57m). As the Arsenal directors well know, it will be in that range.
“It will have to be at least that.
“The price for a player who scores 25-30 goals every year – sometimes more than 30 – is at least that.
“But frankly, I haven’t yet thought about Arsenal for now because I thought that Alexandre was going to stay because the deal with Atletico fell through.”