By Derek Smithson
Arsenal have entered talks with Lyon in a bid to sign their striker Alexandre Lacazette, according to a report.
Sky Sports claim that the Gunners are in discussions with the French side about their 26-year-old, who is a long-term target of the north London club.
It is understood that Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has said the forward can leave for £44million in the summer, with Arsenal seeing a £29million offer turned down last summer.
The report details that Lacazette verbally agreed to join Atletico Madrid in May, but their transfer ban has prevented any deal in the summer.
Lacazette is believed to be demanding Champions League football at his next club, but Arsenal are confident of bringing him to the Emirates Stadium despite only qualifying for the Europa League.
The France international was in prolific form last season for Lyon and ripped up Ligue 1.
He made 45 appearances across all competitions and scored an impressive 37 goals in return for them.
Lacazette is a product of the Lyon academy and has become a crucial first teamer during his 275 appearances for them.
Football Insider verdict:
Arsenal are in desperate need of some marquee signings in the transfer window and Lacazette would certainly fit the bill. The 26-year-old has impressed for a number of years in the French league and has been tipped with a move to the Premier League frequently. He is a powerful striker blessed with pace and a great eye for goal, something that has helped him become one of the most efficient forwards in European football. His 37-goal tally during the last campaign proved his ability in front of goal and he would be a major boost to the attacking options at the Emirates Stadium. Wenger needs with a proven goalscorer to help lead the line and allow the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to thrive behind.
In other Arsenal transfer news, they have been installed the favourite to sign a two-time La Liga winner.