Arsene Wenger is determined to complete a deal for Alexandre Lacazette before Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Australia, reports say.
The Gunners are expected to sign a high-profile striker this summer with Lacazette the prime target as the club accept defeat in the race to land Kylian Mbappe.
Arsenal are said to be willing to pay around £45million for 26-year-old Lacazette, although Lyon have raised their asking price to £57m.
The prolific French goalscorer looked set to join Atletico Madrid earlier in the summer but a transfer ban means the Spanish club cannot buy new players until January.
Now Arsenal appear to be in pole position to secure his signature and the Evening Standard say Wenger hopes the deal can be agreed in the next few weeks.
The north London outfit travel to Australia in mid-July for a pre-season tour and Wenger wants his marquee summer signing to be present as the club prepare for the 2017-18 campaign.
Amid speculation linking Lacazette with a move to the Emirates, current Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is being heavily linked with a departure.
Premier League rivals West Ham have shown interest in the 30-year-old talisman but a return to France – potentially Lyon – appears far more likely.
‘There has been an approach to Giroud,’ Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas told L’Equipe last week.
Alexandre Lacazette’s Ligue 1 season
‘He is a boy we like, who scores a lot of goals and who has a lot of ambition for [next year’s World Cup in] Russia.
‘He told me himself that he wanted to take him time, that things were not completely clear with Arsenal, and he has the secret hope to be the No 1 attacker at Arsenal next season.’