Mikel Arteta and the Arsenal bosses are “in love” with Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
Aouar enjoyed a standout season for Lyon, inspiring them to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
He drew praise from Pep Guardiola and Kevin De Bruyne as they beat Manchester City in the quarter-final, before his side were knocked out by eventual winners Bayern Munich.
Arsenal have reportedly identified the 22-year-old as their top transfer target, having failed to reach an agreement with Atletico for Thomas Partey.
READ MORE: Will Lampard survive latest rise of Roman Empire?
Click Here: Bape Kid 1st Camo Ape Head rompers
But Romano claims Arsenal’s reluctance to meet Partey’s release clause means a deal for Aouar may also be out of their reach.
“I think it’s difficult about Aouar, because we were speaking about €50million [£45million] for Thomas Partey,” Romano said in an interview on YouTube.
“If we speak about Aouar we are speaking about €60million [£54million] or €70million [£63million], so it will be so difficult to take Aouar.
“For sure what I can guarantee is that the Arsenal board is in love with Aouar, Mikel Arteta is also in love with Aouar.
“For sure they will try but many other clubs have tried, there are rumours here in Italy with Juventus.
“The same that Juventus say ‘we like the player but it will be difficult to pay €60million or €70million this summer’.
“His agents have said they need time and he had a terrible season until the end of August, we have been playing all the summer and he wants to relax and decide in September.
“We need to wait to see if Arsenal, Manchester City or Juventus will go with an important bid.
“At the moment there is no club that has offered Lyon €60m.
“We have to always remember we are in COVID, it will be difficult to pay this kind of money.”