Arsenal are preparing a third bid to sign Lorient forward Alexis Claude-Maurice after agreeing provisional terms.
Reports from France claim that upwards of ten other clubs have Claude-Maurice on their radar this summer but the 21-year-old Frenchman prefers a move to the London, as the Gunners look to sign a versatile player to replace the departed Danny Welbeck.
The French Under-21 international has enjoyed an impressive season in Ligue 1 where he has managed to net 14 goals in 35 starts for Lorient.
Despite interest from clubs such as Borussia Monchengladbach, RB Leipzig, and Lyon the youngster is reportedly keen to reunite with old teammate Mattéo Guendouzi in the English capital.
According to Get French Football, Claude-Maurice is tempted by the move to Arsenal and has already agreed provisional terms, but the Gunners would need to up their offer to €20m (£17m). A third bid is now expected imminently after two were already rejected by Lorient.
Reports from Sky Sports claim that Arsenal had a bid of £14m rejected on Saturday and that they now need to increase this amount should they want to land their man. Sky also name-check Premier League rivals Newcastle, West Ham and Brighton as holding an interest in the player.
Alexis Claude-Maurice wants to move to Arsenal but ten other clubs are trying to sign the Lorient forward this summer. West Ham had bid rejected last month. Lorient want at least £16m
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) June 15, 2019
Speaking to football.london former Arsenal and Lorient Striker Jeremie Aliadiere cast his opinion on the possible transfer, calling the youngster technically amazing.
Alliadiere is quoted as saying: "For the money that we talk about I think he’ll make it. It’s about taking a gamble now when other teams aren’t prepared to. ‘The market has gone so crazy in the last few years. If you want a top-level international it’s nothing cheaper than £40m."
"He’s a good player and has really good qualities. ‘I remember incredible quick feet, a technical player. Technically he was amazing. The only thing – he was young at the time – was making the right decision, passing when you need to pass."
Arsenals failure to secure Champions League football means that Unai Emery finds himself financially limited this transfer window, with reports of a transfer budget of just £40m.
The Gunners will need to spend wisely on players in order to move back into the coveted top four, while also ensuring that they keep hold of star strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.