Arsenal have been told that they would have to meet the £44m valuation of Alexander Lacazette’s current employers, Olympique Lyon before he is sold to the London club.
The French international had been courted by Spanish club Atletico Madrid and was billed to sign for the club before a transfer ban was upheld against the club by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Lyon’s President, Jean-Michel Aulas told L’Equipe “I do not intend to cede Alexandre quickly, because there is always the will of Atletico Madrid to bring it to January 1. Now I also listen to what Alexandre says.
“I saw Arsene Wenger during the France-England match [on June 13]. I was with [Aulas’ adviser] Gerard Houllier and I understand he told Gerard there could be interest from Arsenal, but it’s premature to say that things will happen.
“We are talking about 50m to 60m euros [£44m-£53m], Arsenal are ready to pay for Lacazette. It will have to be at least that.
“Everyone knows that Atletico’s offer is 53m euros plus 12m bonus. That’s 65m euros [£57m]. As the leaders of Arsenal are well informed, they will be in those waters.
“But frankly I have not thought about Arsenal for the moment. I thought Alexandre would stay because of the failure, initially, with Atletico Madrid.”
With the submissions of the Lyon President, it remains to be seen if Arsenal will return with an improved bid for the striker.