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Arsenal to make sensational 80m swoop for Lyon trio

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta before the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Emirates Stadium on October 25, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Three birds with one stone

If the papers are to be believed, Arsenal are plotting a sensational triple signing of players from French side Olympique Lyon as they aim to rebuild after a disastrous season. Mikel Arteta has called on the club to be “ruthless”, and Arsenal are already showing signs of being incredibly active this summer.

Sam Dean, Football correspondent at the Daily Telegraph, has tweeted that Arsenal are weighing up a move for Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, who has fallen out of favour in France.

Dembele was loaned to La Liga giants Atletico Madrid in January, but has suffered a tough time in the Spanish capital, worryingly collapsing in training and making just four substitute appearances for Diego Simeone’s side. According to Dean, a fee of in the region of £25m would be enough to secure the striker’s signature, who netted sixteen goals for Lyon in the 2019/20 season.

Arsenal to make sensational 80m swoop for Lyon trio

Moussa Dembele of Atletico Madrid during the warm-up before the La Liga Santander match between Cadiz CF and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Ramon de Carranza on January 31, 2021 in Cadiz, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Happy Aouar

Reports have also resurfaced linking the Gunners with a summer move for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar. Aouar, who was subject to persistent speculation in the summer, failed to make the move across the English channel in the dying days of the summer window, with Arsenal unable to meet the £60m valuation.

However, L’Equipe and the Daily Express are reporting that a deal may now be struck, with Aouar’s value having plummeted in the last twelve months.  Indeed, they believe that Aouar could become a Gunner for as little as £25m, less than half what Lyon valued him at last summer.

It has been a largely indifferent campaign for the French midfielder, who has found himself in and out of the Lyon side. In his 28 appearances, he has registered six goals and three assists however, three more goal contributions than he managed in all of the 2019/20 season.

Arsenal to make sensational 80m swoop for Lyon trio

LYON, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 27: David Silva of Manchester City battles for possession with Houssem Aouar of Olympique Lyonnais during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Olympique Lyonnais and Manchester City at Groupama Stadium on November 27, 2018 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Strengthening the Spine: 

Meanwhile, Arsenal are set to fight it out with North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur for the signature of Lyon loanee Joachim Andersen. A string of good performances from the centre back could not stop Fulham from being relegated from the Premier League, but that has not dampened interest.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Tottenham are “in pole position” but Arsenal are “ready to compete” for the Danish International’s signature, who is widely expected to leave France this summer. Arsenal view the centre-back as a natural David Luiz replacement on the right of their defence if the Brazilian does not his current contract, which expires this summer.

Andersen is expected to cost around £20m, although they will have to negotiate with the notorious Jean-Michel Aulas, who has proved a tough customer previously.

One thing that could play in the North London clubs’ favour is Lyon’s failure to qualify for the Champions League: they currently sit one point outside the qualification spots with just two fixtures to play.

The financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, the failed TV deal, and failure to qualify for the Champions League could elicit a fire sale in France, as clubs desperately try to keep themselves afloat. This could, in turn, mean some bargains can be had by wealthier clubs.

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This article was edited by Tom Canton.

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